Subscribe to SmallPlanet

Adapting for Special Needs Overseas - Call for Essays

Five stars on Amazon! Don't miss Talesmag's first book of essays, on cross-cultural food experiences from Mexico to Mongolia (plus recipes!)
Submit a Real Post Report

Beijing



Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

Subway easy to navigate, taxis are affordable, DiDi works well and there are car and driver services that are easy to use with Wechat. - Oct 24, 2017
Safe and affordable. Taxis start at US$2 a ride and I've never paid more than US$20 for a particularly bad ride to the airport. Uber is cheaper and lots of people use it. The subway is sort of disappointing in terms of its layout, but costs 60-75 cents a ride and is efficient for certain trips. - Dec 3, 2015
Very affordable. Taxis are somewhat scary if you don't speak chinese. Most drivers do not speak any English at all and many times don't really know where to go... you have to tell them. - Apr 12, 2015
Public transportation is safe, cheap and convenient. You don't really need a car unless you live in the Shunyi district where the schools are. People who live there either drive to work, a 45 minute ride, or take the embassy shuttle for a nominal fare. Subways can be so crowded every day, and I mean jammed packed, especially line 10. Sometimes, there are pushers - people in uniforms who actually push passengers into the trains during rush hours. I thought it was hilarious the first time I witnessed it. - Aug 17, 2014
Yes, all are readily available, safe and affordable. That said, the metro is often quite crowded, which can make it tricky when traveling with a family. The taxi drivers are just really awful here. They frequently don't know where things are located and it can be very hard to get one to take you anywhere during rush hour. There is also the language barrier, which can be daunting if you do not have good Chinese language skills. - Jul 18, 2014
Yes and yes - Jun 19, 2013
Have not used the trains, but have heard the normal ones are more or less safe, if cramped. The new high speed trains are plagued with problems and many fatal accidents -- I would stay away. Buses are overcrowded and routes are unclear. Taxis are mostly safe, except you won’t often find a usable seat belt. The subway is horribly crowded at rush hour and on certain lines all the time. All ground transportation is fairly cheap. - Aug 27, 2011
Trains, buses, taxis and subways are very cheap. You can get wherever you want on the subway for 2 RMB (.30 cents) - Apr 7, 2011
Trains and subways are safe, fast and efficient (although often very crowded). Taxis are sort of safe; drivers are very aggressive here and do not follow the rules of the road you may be used to. Petty crime is common on buses - one time when I rode one, a fight broke out and the driver locked all the doors, not letting anyone off the bus until the police came. All are affordable. You can ride a taxi for 2.5km for $1.50. After that, it's a 15 cent fuel tax and then 30 cents each additional km. This is the most expensive option. The subway is 30 cents (this will get you anywhere in the system, well over 100km of track) and buses cost 6 cents. - Jan 18, 2011
Taxis are safe, but the drivers don't speak a bit of English, so make sure you have a map or a Chinese-speaker with you. Don't plan on using a seatbelt. - Apr 29, 2010
Local trains, buses and taxies are relatively safe and cheap. - Jan 26, 2010