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Beijing subways offer replacement slippers (2)

By Zheng Xin (China Daily)

08:46, July 09, 2012

Meng Xianqin, director of Jianguomen station, said passenger flow has increased since the summer began. Even around 1 pm, usually the least busy time of day, the carriages are packed.

"According to my observations, almost half of all women passengers wear slippers or similar shoes in summer," said Meng, who has worked for Beijing Subway for 32 years. "We have witnessed people losing their slippers so many times, and a replacement pair might be a great help for those who lose them."

In addition to the replacement slippers, the station has also prepared hundreds of raincoats and medial kits for emergencies, such as mint cream and water for sunstroke victims and brown sugar and candies for people exhibiting symptoms of hypoglycemia.

However, Xue Ning, deputy director of Jianguomen station, said that fewer than half of the slippers loaned out have been returned.

"We have to come up with some new slippers every day to meet the demand," she said. "We wish the passengers would return the shoes as soon as possible to satisfy other passengers' demand."

Yang Yue, 34, said she used to avoid wearing slippers while riding the subway for fear of losing them in congested carriages.

"I love wearing slippers in the summer. They're easy to wear and pretty, yet they are also easy to lose in the metro, especially during rush hour or rainy days," Yang said. "This is a very practical service. Even if no registration is required, I guess people who benefit from the backup slippers will return them, since it's for the benefit of the public."

Wang Chen, a 23-year-old freelance writer from Xi'an, Shaanxi province, who was traveling in the capital, said she was surprised by the service, and hopes it will be offered throughout the country, including in her hometown.

Mo Jinwei contributed to this story.

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