“The bus company, due to business difficulties, was unable to pay its drivers for several months, resulting in all buses in the city being suspended, inconveniencing everyone. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience!” On August 12, the suspended operation notice of Dancheng District Public Transport Service Company (referred to as “Dancheng Bus Company”) in Zhukou City, Henan Province, China attracted much attention.
As reported by Jiemian News on August 13, Director Yu of Dancheng Bus Company, said that this notice was not officially made by the company, but by some of the company’s drivers. Yu said that it’s not clear how the drivers could access the company’s official public account to make the announcements, and regarding drivers not being paid, he said that the issue had been resolved.
However, people are questioning, Vision Times quoted some comments:
“How can a driver have that courage?”
“A driver uses an official public account? Not blaming again, don’t you?” and
“If you cannot solve the problem, solve the problem maker…”
On August 13, the official WeChat account of Dancheng Bus Company broadcasted the information that “bus routes No. 1, No. 2, and No. 5 are back in operation.” The previous “Suspended Operation Notice” has been removed.
According to the Baidu Encyclopedia, Dancheng District Public Transport Service Company was established in April 1998. The CEO and legal representative of the company is Ba Weidong. According to Tianyancha, Dancheng Bus Company is a private enterprise. In general, public transportation businesses, whether state-owned or privately owned, can receive subsidies from government agencies. However, according to Dancheng bus staff, local subsidies are delayed, making it difficult to pay drivers. In addition, according to Yu, the number of passengers traveling by bus is low and unstable due to the pandemic in recent years. Currently, the driver’s salary is advanced by individuals, and the company is at a loss.
Guancha said that according to a recruitment notice issued by Dancheng Bus Company last year, a driver’s salary is about $520 to $665 or 3,500 to 4,500 yuan. The company pays insurance, and the employees are entitled to 2 days of paid leave per month.
The “suspended operation incident” caused much public debate. Many netizens surprisingly exclaimed:
“How can people travel normally?”,
“The whole district doesn’t have public transport, can’t the relevant agencies manage it?”, and
“Stopped operating again! It is not the first time.”
In fact, this is not the first time that public transportation has been suspended in the Dancheng district. Local media in Henan Province reported that in July 2020, two bus lines in the district had stopped operating. At that time, it was reported that the company was operating with difficulties and serious losses. Many drivers quit their jobs, causing difficulties for some routes. Therefore, from July 20, 2020, the company has decided to suspend operations for buses No. 3 and No. 6.
According to the announcement of the official public account of Dancheng Bus: Since 2020, the company has stopped operating nearly six times,—3 times due to the pandemic, two times due to operational difficulties, and the last time due to many overlapping buses, so it was temporarily stopped for rescheduling.
Public information shows that there are a total of 6 bus routes under the management of Dancheng District Bus Company, running across the city. Regarding the suspension of buses No. 3 and No. 6, a person in charge said that the reason for the difficult operation was low passenger traffic, and the subsidy that the relevant departments should have made was not granted, resulting in the inability to pay the drivers.