China's national railway operator China State Railway Group Co., Ltd. (China Railway) has rolled out new thoughtful measures to bring more convenience to senior citizens during their rail trips, according to Lu Dongfu, president of the company.
Lu, who is also a deputy to the National People's Congress, the country’s top legislative body, said that the company has optimized its online ticketing system to automatically identify passengers over the age of 60 and give them priority for lower berth allotment in trains when it is allowed.
The system will also automatically assign adjacent seats for senior passengers who plan to travel together and place one order to book train tickets, Lu said, adding that elderly passengers can swipe their ID cards and go through a face scan to enter a railway station, or pass through special channels that provide manual verification, Lu explained.
China Railway allows senior citizens who have trouble using smartphones to show their health QR codes to provide ID cards or other valid identification documents where health codes are needed. The company also offers personalized pick-up or wake-up services for seniors free of charge.
Elderly passengers can also order meals through China Railway's official website 12306.cn and its official app, or go directly to the dining carriage to order and have meals delivered to their seats.
To help senior citizens who have difficulty accessing the online ticketing system, China's railway stations are continuing the use of manual ticket counters and accepting cash as payment for train tickets, while their staff members will offer guidance to senior passengers near the self-service ticket machines.
All railway stations have set up waiting rooms (areas) tailored to key passengers, including the elderly, children, sick and disabled people, and pregnant women, who will be given preferential treatment when going through ticket checks, said Lu.