Reduced bus fares for Chengdu to Chongqing last week resulted in about 10 percent more passengers on the first day, reported Sichuan Online.
From 4 March, the single deck seats cost RMB88 each and the luxury double deck seat is priced at RMB78. At the same time, frequency of buses will be increased, according to the Special Committee for direct high speed travel between Chengdu and Chongqing.
The committee said these trial prices will be in effect for three months and that the buses are already "operating at break even level".
Head of the Chengdu Bus Terminal at Yinghui South Street, Jinjiang District, Xiang Mei (Weibo), attributed the full bus loads to the cheaper tickets and the fact that it was a Friday.
Due to the introduction of bullet trains to Chongqing in July 2009, prices for bus travel have been lowered to remain competitive. In November 2009, bus fares first fell from RMB116 to RMB85 for single decks and from RMB120 to RMB110 for luxury double decks.
Xiang added that the completion of the 251 km Chengdu-Anyue-Chongqing Expressway by 2012 will shorten the journey by 66 km, leading to cheaper bus travel.
The bus takes three hours and goes directly into the city area, so it's convenient, said passenger Tao Jian who goes to Chongqing for work.
Head of the committee, Luo Jianfeng told Sichuan News Network that savvy passengers would recognise the advantages and cost savings from bus travel which gets them directly to the city area.
Buses leaving for Chongqing from the North Bus Station daily have seen a small increase in the number of passengers.
However, bus travel rates are expected to fall in 2014, with the completion of the passenger-dedicated railway between Chengdu and Chongqing. By then, bullet train travel would only take an hour between the two cities.
Chengdu's Railway Stations
Meanwhile the Sichuan News Network reported that the East Railway Station is likely to begin operations in May 2011, serving passengers while the North train station undergoes a makeover to double its size.
The South station is likely to be expanded to be about the size of the current North station, according to the Chengdu Daily which stated the project is still in its bidding stage.
Currently, more than 98 percent of the East station is completed. The eight east platforms will be for Chengdu-Mianyang-Leshan, Chengdu-Chongqing and other departing trains. The six west platforms will be for arriving trains. Touchscreen enquiry systems have been installed in the departure halls, displaying the station's floor plan, train schedules and ticketing information. The train schedules displayed at the moment are just a trial version, according to a station staff.