(Yicai Global) Feb. 5 -- As shared economy makes its foray into many areas of daily life in China, a railway service operator in Guangzhou, capital of the southern Guangdong province, joined the ranks, offering high speed rail + car-sharing services for passengers in a first of its kind. The move also represents a railway company entering the competition for car-sharing services, which will surely irk sector's existing players.
China Railway Guangzhou Group (CR Guangzhou) unveiled its high-speed rail + car-sharing services for passengers using fast trains to Guangzhou during the busy Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival, transport season this year. After arriving at the Guangzhou South Railway Station, passengers can use shared cars in the parking lot, which they pre-booked online.
The Guangzhou railway operator, CR Guangzhou, has started offering the service via its official WeChat account @tqfuwu to ease the Spring Festival travel rush, known as chunyun in Chinese, which already commenced, online news site The Paper reported. It offers car-sharing registration, navigation and riding, traveling and shuttle services for passenger convenience and efficiency.
It has built a special parking area for car-sharing in the Guangzhou South Railway Station with over 40 parking lots specifically allocated for car-sharing and online ride-hailing vehicles. There is a total of 500 shared cars offered for passengers via the service.
Users can book their shared cars anywhere after following the official account of the railway operator. Simply by clicking on the relevant section on their mobile phones, users can book, pick up, drive and return the cars conveniently, said an executive of CR Guangzhou.
Many stations along the CR Guangzhou railway line including Guangzhou East Railway Station, Guangzhou North Railway Station, Guangzhou Railway Station, and Foshan West Railway Station will have special parking areas for car-sharing in the future.
As one of the busiest high-speed railway stations in China, Guangzhou South Railway Station sees 800 trains call at each day during chunyun. The station tops the national ranking by its daily number passengers dispatched, which is 300,000, as well as daily arrivals which also hits 300,000.
There are 20 car-sharing operators in Guangzhou currently, which operate more than 5,700 shared cars.