High-speed railways improve mobility for low-income families
Mr. Wang and his family with two children took the High-Speed Rail from Zunyi City in Guizhou Province to go to Guangzhou to seek work. It was their first time to take the High-speed Rail. The 6-hour, 45-USD HSR trip was comfortable, reliable, fast, and affordable. Before the Guiguang HSR line opened, Mr. Wang could only take the bus, which was 50% more expensive, took 14 hours longer and was difficult with his young children.
HSR service has changed the life of many low-income families like Mr. Wang’s. HSR has linked less developed regions of China to the developed coastal regions, opening up jobs and access to education and health services. For example, the Guiguang HSR line, which was partially financed by the World Bank, connects the economically advanced Guangdong province (per capita GDP of 9,964 USD), with the poorer and less developed Guizhou province (per capita GDP of 4,406 USD ). As a World Bank survey in 2015 showed, about 65% of the passengers on GuiGuang Line had a monthly average income lower than 900 USD. For these low-income people, the HSR service means opportunities: both expanded job opportunities in Guangzhou and locally, and the possibility to visit family faster, cheaper, safer and more frequently.