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Chongqing lets farmers carry large baskets to market on subway line

Pub Date:24-03-25 10:51 Source:China Daily

Southwest China's Chongqing municipality is allowing farmers to carry large baskets on subway trains during peak hours, to the chagrin of some residents. The farmers are allowed to use Line 4, dubbed the "Vegetable Basket Line", every day.

They may carry baskets on their backs or in a small cart, or balance two baskets with a pole on their shoulders.

The baskets, made of bamboo, are usually filled with fresh vegetables.

Before the line opened in 2022, farmers would sell their vegetables in Shichuan town. The town was small, so vegetables sold slowly and prices were low.

After the metro opened, farmers discovered that they could sell their vegetables for a higher price in the city.

So, many farmers started taking the metro to the city to sell their vegetables.

Some netizens commented on the local government's inquiry platform recently that the city should prohibit passengers from carrying large items, including the baskets, during peak hours because they can hinder other passengers when space is especially limited.

Chongqing Rail Transit responded that passengers can carry items on the subway as long as the sum of the length, width, and height does not exceed 2 meters and the weight does not exceed 20 kilograms.

The Line 4 allowance has not only warmed the hearts of a large number of farmers, but also the general public.

"This is what a modern city should be — the farmers who carry baskets and those nine-to-fivers who carry laptops are essentially no different," one netizen commented.

Ao Mingqiang, a 72-year-old farmer who lives in Shichuan's Hekou village, said "it is good news for us."

Ao often carries a basket of peppers and scallions on his back as he lines up at a gate at Shichuan Station around 6 am each day.

He usually takes the earliest train to the morning markets in the densely populated city center, regularly disembarking at Yuzui Station.

Zheng Changpan, the stationmaster on duty at Shichuan Station, said the number of farmers has grown since the station opened in June 2022.

To make things more convenient for passengers, station staff members usually open the gates a few minutes earlier, use handheld metal detectors for security checks, guide farmers to take the elevators in the subway and help them lift their baskets onto the train.

If luggage such as vegetable baskets leaves odors or juice that soils the carriages, personnel will clean the train at the end of each trip, Zheng said.

Editor:Qin Shuying

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