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China's first inter-city subway begins service

GUANGZHOU, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- China's first inter-city subway, linking two southern China cities hosting the 2010 Asian Games, started operations Wednesday.

The 21-kilometer Guangfo Line connects Guangzhou City with Foshan City, both in the manufacturing hub of the Pearl River Delta region in Guangdong Province.

Riders on the subway will find that the travel time between the two cities has been reduced from 90 minutes to 30 minutes, said sources with the subway company Guangzhou Metro.

The line has 14 stations and a ride from end to end costs only six yuan (less than one U.S. dollar).

Local authorities have been pushing for the increased integration of cities in the Pearl River Delta and consider the operation of the Guangfo Line a big step in that direction.

The subway was purposely opened one week prior to the start of the 2010 Asian Games. The competitions will be held in Guangzhou, Foshan, Dongguan, and Shanwei.

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