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'Airport-Esk' Security Checkpoints Now Being Trialed on Subways

Where: Beijing , China
May 28, 2014 at 10:13 AM | by | ()

Just as we were praising train travel for its ease of access and lack of frustrating security checkpoints, China has beefed up security to the point that it resembles a TSA checkpoint on its subway in Beijing.

Minor security measures date back to the 2008 Olympics, but things got serious at the beginning of 2014 when six checkpoints were opened across 200 stations that required passengers to show their personal belongings before entering the subway. Last weekend, three more were opened in response to the terror attacks in Xinjiang that killed 31 people. Now, instead of simply opening their bags, passengers must go through metal detectors and other heightened security measures, resulting in the massive queues you see in the photos of this post.

Given that there are 200 stations and only nine of these rigorous checkpoints, lines will not be out of control at every stop. The main take away from this is the precedent of airport-esk security checkpoints on trains and subways, and whether or not the concept will be considered by other countries. For tourists in big cities, subways have always been a cheap, easy way to zip around the city. But factor in a 30-minute wait time and implement restrictions on what you can and cannot bring on board, and all of a sudden cities like New York and London become much more difficult and frustrating to explore.

We are sure that other countries are no doubt keeping an eye on Beijing to see how it plays out in all aspects, including increased safety and the satisfaction of both locals and tourists. We'll keep you updated on how the experiment goes. Apparently, many locals have already voiced their dissatisfaction with the system. It's not hard to see why.

[Photos: Epoch Times/Reuters/Reuters]

Archived Comments:


I guess security officials think that terrorists are idiots. Even if all stations have this type of security, it's not going to matter because subways/rail lines don't operate in a totally secured environment. If they want to hurt people, terrorists can simply place a bomb along the miles of track outside of a secured station.

For the record, I'm not limiting my criticism to China. Our own TSA is just as dumb. The VIPR program, which lets the TSA violate our civil liberties, is just as ineffective.