|A passenger looks into the bus to see if there is possibility for him to squeeze in. (BJ News/ Photo)|
Hundreds of people stood in long lines, in early morning, waiting for the cross-province bus at the station near the winery in Yanjiao, Hebei province.
When Bus 930 slowly came into the station, passengers swarmed. The bus was instantly filled with early birds, who have to commute to work in Beijing. People who had stepped on the pedal at the door but with body still hanging out of the bus desperately tried to squeeze in the little space aboard.
The door did not close smoothly. Conductors leaned from the window and pulled the passenger at the door into the bus with his hand and finally the door was closed. Passengers who could not get on watched the bus leave for Beijing, with a sense of loss in their eyes, and anxiously awaiting the arrival of next bus.
Due to high prices and hukou, residence limitation, hundreds of thousands of salaried worker in Beijing choose to settle down for in Yanjiao, perhaps the nearest city from Beijing, because the home price or rent here is lower. Then the city got the name “city for bed." Monday to Friday, the salaried workers have to get up at 5 a.m. so as to squeeze on the early bus for their nine-to-five job in the capital.
If driving to work, one has to pay 30 yuan (5 US dollars) for a round trip on expressway, and more on gasoline. Many office workers cannot afford the high cost of commuting by car. If not taking expressway, one has to take the risk of traffic jam into account since it is unpredictable.
Bus 930 has been top priority of office workers who live in Yanjiao. One trip from Hebei province to Beijing by Bus 930 only costs a passenger 2 yuan (0.3 US dollars) if he or she uses a bus card, but they have to endure the over-crowded carriage.