Reminder: The Beijing Subway Will Shut Down Early Today (27 Dec 2014)
If you will be travelling on the Beijing Subway today, remember that ticketing and entry gates to the system will be closed as of 21:00 on today (27 December 2014). This is while Beijing prepares to upgrade its Subway fare system from a flat fare system to one that calculates fares based on the distance travelled. The system will resume operations from the first trains tomorrow morning.
Minimum fares for the entire network will be hiked, effective 28 December 2014, to ¥3, with the longest trip costing ¥9, although for most, the maximum fare should be ¥7 or ¥8.
Fare evasion penalties will now grow more teeth as well, with the newest maximum penalty ¥90 instead of the previous ¥20. You will also have to finish trips within 4 hours after you enter the ticket gates.
There will now be discounts for users of the Beijing Yikatong transit smart card. This is up to 50% off if you are a frequent traveller (with no more applied if you spend more than ¥400 on city subway fares after a month). Trips on the Airport Express do not qualify here.
If you will be leaving or arriving in Beijing via Airport Express after 21:00 today, take note that you will have to complete the last leg from the city stations at Dongzhimen and Sanyuanqiao on foot, by bus, or by taxi. If getting to the airport (in particular), allow more time and set off earlier. The Airport Express remains open although it will be an isolated system after 21:00 today.
Remember also to touch both in and out on city buses beginning tomorrow (28 December 2014), as the vast majority of buses will have switched to distance-based charging as well.