An elevator added to an old apartment building in Beijing's Daxing dIstrict. /Beijing News Photo
Beijing authorities are on a spree of installing elevators in old apartment buildings. The residents don't need to pay for the machine or its future maintenance, but they do have to pay a tiny fee every time they take it for a ride, up or down.
This is a new solution that the local government has come up with. Payment is made by swiping a card like taking a bus, according to the Beijing Daily newspaper.
The fee is 0.2 yuan (around three US cents) per ride. Beijing Daily calculated that an average household would be paying about 100 yuan a month.
Residents have welcomed the move.
Yang Guixiang, 60, told another local newspaper, Beijing News, that she's happy to pay for the privilege of not climbing the stairs when carrying heavy stuff. "Just two mao and it's all done," she said. Ten mao equals one yuan in China.
Why it matters
China requires all apartment buildings higher than six floors to include elevators. The residents have to pay a yearly fee for the maintenance.
But the exact amount is not regulated, which residents and property companies often in dispute over the matter.
The new solution not only forces residents to pay for the use of elevators, but also eliminates the possibility of property companies asking for extra money.
What's more, it points out a path to install elevators in shorter buildings.
Beijing's Daxing district is trying to apply this solution to more old buildings.
There are currently 9,839 units of 2,264 buildings in Daxing that are not equipped with elevators, most of them built before 2006. Pay-per-ride elevators will be installed in 11 units in the district by the end of 2018, according to the Beijing government.