Days after this year's extended Labor Day holidays, China's rail operator publicly apologized to all of its patrons for the inconvenience they had to go through. China Railway Corporation apologized over the weekend for the chaos patrons had experienced in various stations and on board trains during the holiday. The company also mentioned that it will be seeking to punish everyone that contributed to the disruption of its service and those that are proven to have been involved in the various scuffles.
During the country's celebration of the annual holiday, there were an estimated 70 million people traveling via train. Travel peaked on Wednesday last week, with a record 17 million passengers on China Railway's trains. The massive crowd caused quite a lot of problems for the company, which was smothered by angry customers shortly after the incidents.
Some passengers, who had already purchased tickets, were apparently not able to board their trains due to severe overcrowding. This included trains that were traveling from east China cities Nanjing and Zibo. This was also the same case for travelers on the train from Huaishan to Nanjing.
According to China Railway, the problem was exacerbated by some passengers who had purchased tickets for short trips but stayed onboard beyond their designated stops. Due to the overcrowding, staff members were apparently not able to check all the tickets one by one. As a result, the operator was forced to refund some passengers who couldn't get on board their trains.
China Railway promised that it will place more trains on popular routes in the coming holidays. It also promised to add more personnel and checkpoints to make sure passengers were disembarking at their correct stations and that everyone had the correct tickets.
The state-owned railway operator also revealed that it was now consulting government officials on possibly punishing those who abused the company's ticketing system through its social credit system. Any person found to be guilty of abuse will be banned from traveling by train if the measure is successfully implemented.
The measure has been pushed by railway patrons on social media following a viral video of an unruly female passenger on one of the high-speed trains, was posted online. The woman, who was riding a train from Beijing to Wuhan, reportedly refused to show her ticket to conductors.
The passenger then berated and physically attacked the conductor. Patrons who saw the video online immediately called on the government to implement a measure that would ban people like the female passenger from riding the train forever.