While many of us still complain about the need to pay public toilets a few nickels as entrance fees in Malaysia, people in China are delighted to pay the little amount every time they use elevators.
Yes, elevators. A space where you need to wait for it and use it only for a few seconds, yet they are happy to pay for it. At least toilet is a basic necessity, right?
It turns out that people in China are not complaining about the elevators pay-per-use because they are built in old residential buildings. Instead of imposing a development fee to all the residents for the elevators, residents pay to use them every time and the fees collected will be used to maintain and recover the cost of the complements. Genius!
According to Beijing Daily, the elevator pay-per-use scheme is on trial in several buildings in China’s capital city Beijing. At least eleven lifts are being installed in old residential buildings which previously only had stairs.
It’s reported that residents pay the elevators just like how commuters pay on a public bus by scanning a preloaded card. Or Malaysia’s Touch n’ Go style. All they had to do was to wave a swipe-card across a sensor in the elevator and they could enjoy the new amenity.
The users are charged 0.2 yuan (approx RM0.12) each time they ride the elevator which is considered a small amount by local standards. However, the report stressed that the scheme could set households back for an approximate 100 yuan (RM 61.50) every month.
If it’s us Malaysians, we would definitely ‘hitchhike’ on this. “Abang, boleh tab saya ke atas? Heh.”
The Fangrong Shengtai Construction Company stated that the scheme means residents wouldn’t have to pay construction and maintenance fees for the elevators in the older buildings for this to work.
BBC reported that many apartment complexes built before 2006 across China don’t come equipped with elevators; particularly in Daxing District alone, 2,264 multi-storey buildings came without an elevator.
Some residents have applauded the move. One 60-year-old resident said that she no longer has to struggle up and down the stairs with heavy shopping.
“When my children are away from home, I am in a rut; now, this is much more convenient, and I only have to spend 2 mao (20 cents),” said the elderly woman.
On the popular Sina Weibo microblog, many have commanded the move too as it could serve the elderly residents better, adding that the scheme could encourage residents to be more environmentally friendly and travel together.
On the flip side, some people aren’t enthusiastic about the scheme. Instead, they want to be frugal.
“Two mao is not a lot of money, but I’m sure I’ll end up taking the stairs,” said a netizen.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you think it’s an innovative move? Let us know in the comments below.