Practical Life in Shanghai


Transport in Shanghai


Home > Expat Guides > Asia > China > Shanghai
Tools:

Bus/Coach

Shanghai has a comprehensive bus network, with over 1000 bus lines. Broadly speaking (with a few exceptions!) the city centre bus lines have numbers and the suburban lines have names.

The type of bus can be identified from the number:

  • Under 30 - trolley buses (except 18 and 21)
  • 30 to 200 - ordinary buses
  • 200 to 299 - peak hour buses
  • 300 to 399 - night buses
  • 400 to 499 - cross river buses
  • 500 to 599 - special lines
  • 600 to 699 - special lines Pudong
  • 700 to 799 - suburban buses
  • 800 to 999 - special lines

The named buses are usually descriptive of their routes, for example:

  • Tunnel Line 1 to 6 - go through the tunnel under the Huangpu River
  • Bridge Line 1 to 6 - cross the bridge over Huangpu River
  • Airport Line 1 to 7 - connect Pudong Airport to the city centre
  • Airport Special Line - connects Hongqiao Airport to the city centre

Fares for ordinary buses cost either 1 RMB or 1.8 RMB, and if you ride in an air-conditioned bus you will be charged 2 RMB. Some bus lines make an additional charge if you are travelling longer distances.

A rechargeable card (Shanghai Public Transportation Card) is also available for those making multiple trips and can be purchased in metro stations and kiosks for a refundable fee of 30 RMB. The card can then be credited with funds at metro stations and many of the city's convenience stores. It is valid on all types of public transport, including the city's metro system.

The enquiry number for bus services is 16088160

Train

The Shanghai metro currently has six lines, on which the trains usually run at 5 minute intervals. It uses a combination of underground trains and elevated light railways to transport over a million passengers each day. A further 12 lines are under construction or planned for the longer term. All Shanghai metro stations are accessible by disabled travellers. Trains and platforms are crowded during the rush hour, and the newer lines have plexiglass doors on the platforms, which only open when a train has arrived in the station. These are being retro-fitted to the older lines to improve safety.

Screens on the platform show the time of arrival of the next two trains. Once inside the train, screens display details of the next stop. There are also audible messages notifying passengers of the next stop, in both Mandarin and English.

The standard fare is 3 RMB for journeys under 6km, after which an a further 1 RMB is charged for each additional 10km travelled. The exception to this is Line 5, where journeys under 6km cost 2 RMB and all other journeys cost 3 RMB. Tickets for single journeys are available from vending machines in the station, which accept both coins and notes, or from a ticket booth. A rechargeable card (Shanghai Public Transportation Card) is also available for those making multiple trips and can be purchased in metro stations and kiosks for a refundable fee of 30 RMB. The card can then be credited with funds at metro stations and many of the city's convenience stores. It is valid on all types of public transport.

Metro: Shanghai Metro map

A high speed Maglev train runs from the Longyang Road station on Metro Line 2 to the airport. Opened in 2003, the train can reach speeds of 267 km/h and completes the 30km trip to the airport in just over 7 minutes. Fares are relatively expensive. A further Maglev train is planned to connect Shanghai with Hangzhou, with a projected completion date of 2008.

Two major railway routes run through Shanghai: the Jinghu Railway, which runs from Beijing to Shanghai, passing through Nanjing, and the Shanghai-Hangzhou Railway. There are two main rail stations: Shanghai Railway Station and Shanghai South Railway Station. Trains depart every day for destinations throughout the country. A variety of different fares are available, largely based on the level of comfort required on the journey.

The Railway Inquiry number is 63179090

Airport

Shanghai is served by two international airports, Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) and Shanghai Hongqiao Airport (SHA).

Pudong International airport is located 30km from Shanghai city centre. It can be reached in 8 minutes from the city centre by using the high-speed Maglev train, or you can choose from five bus lines which serve different areas of Shanghai. Airport bus no. 1 runs between Pudong International Airport and Hong Qiao International Airport (journey time: 30-40 minutes), while airport bus no. 2 runs to Shanghai Exhibition Centre. Other routes serve Zunyi Road, Dongjiagwan Road and Shanghai Railway Station. Taxis are available at the airport and the journey time into the city is between 25 and 40 minutes, dependant upon traffic conditions.

Flight Inquiries and General Information line (Pudong): 38484500

Shanghai Hongqiao Airport (SHA) is the older of the two airports and is now used primarily for domestic flights. Taxis are available at the airport and the journey time into the city is about 15 minutes. Buses provide a cheaper option and a number of routes into different districts of Shanghai operate from the airport.

Flight Inquiries and General Information line (Hongqiao): 62688918

Taxis

Competition amongst taxis in Shanghai is fierce and as a result prices are competitive. Many local people will take taxis for short trips, even if they own a car. The initial price is displayed in the taxi, after which the distance travelled will be metered and you will be charged accordingly. Customers commonly sit in the front passenger seat of taxis; in fact the meter may be set up to be visible only from the front seat. It is not required to tip your taxi driver.

Relatively few of the taxi drivers speak English. It is a sensible precaution to have the name of your hotel, business address and home address written in Chinese on a card so that you can simply show the driver where you want to go. Some taxi drivers will, however, try to take you on the 'scenic route' if they think that you are a tourist. Check the price first, by asking at your hotel or the airport. Touts at the airport will charge 2 to 4 times the going rate for a taxi ride into the town centre - avoiding them and getting into the queue for licensed taxis will save your money!

Cars

Rising incomes have seen levels of car ownership increase dramatically during recent years. Traffic can be dense in Shanghai, particularly in peak periods and local driving techniques mean that driving is not for the faint-hearted. Driving in mainland China is on the right-hand side of the road. Shanghai is connected to the surrounding area and other major towns by national expressways, which have a 'G' prefix. The city has six elevated expressways, known as skyways, as well as 18 expressways, prefixed with an 'A'. The road signs on expressways are displayed in both Chinese and English.

If you want to drive in Shanghai, you will need to apply for a Republic of China driving license, as international licenses are not recognised by the Chinese authorities. To apply for a Chinese license, you will be asked to provide the following documentation:

  • Your passport, plus one photocopy
  • Original Residence Permit, plus one photocopy
  • Valid driving license from your home country plus a photocopy. Your license must be authenticated overseas by an embassy or consulate of the Republic of China, or Representative Office, Liaison Office or other office duly authorized by the Ministry Of Foreign Affairs.
  • If your license is not in English, a Chinese translation must be provided and authenticated by an embassy or consulate of the Republic of China, or Representative Office, Liaison Office or other office duly authorized by the Ministry Of Foreign Affairs.
  • Certificate of physical examination for driving license application, available from public hospitals
  • Two recent passport photographs

Go to the Shanghai Vehicle Management Bureau at 1101 Zhongshan Bei Yi Lu (tel 6516 8168) to take the Driving Adapt Test (on the third floor of Building 6). Afterwards, you will be required to take a multiple choice exam (in English). If you have held your driving license in your home country for less than 3 years, you may also be required to take a road test.

It is almost impossible to import your own car to China, so you will probably plan to purchase a new or second hand car in the country. There is a wide range of second hand car dealerships in Shanghai and foreigners are not restricted from buying cars.

Many people consider having their own car too much trouble and instead choose to rent a car with a driver when needed. These are readily available and reasonably priced. Car hire firms at the airport are able to provide a car with driver, if required.

Car Hire contacts:

AVIS

  • Chang Ning Head office
    No.1387 Chang Ning Road
    021-62410215
    021-62344901
    8:00-20:00 Mon.-Sun.
  • Pu Dong Station
    No.2988 Zhang Yang Road Pu Dong
    021-58335759
    021-58333321
    8:00-20:00 Mon.-Sun.
  • Hong Qiao Airport
    Waiting Lounge B
    021-62680862
    021-62681842
    8:00-20:00 Mon.-Sun.
  • Lu Wan Station
    No.596 Fu Xing Middle Road
    021-64730543
    021-64150174
    8:00-20:00 Mon.-Sun.
  • Pu Dong Airport
    Pu Dong International Airport Waiting Area
    021-68346668
    021-38480736
    8:30-20:30 Mon.-Sun.

City Map: http://www.travelchinaguide.com/

Update 9/08/2007


Tools:

Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Pinterest Addthis

Recommended Service Partners

International Movers
International Movers in Shanghai
Compare up to 5 quotes from our network of moving companies that can help you plan your international move and relocate your entire family.
Expatriate health insurance
Expatriate health insurance in China
Apply online for free quotes on repatriation assistance and expatriate and foreign health insurance.
Hotels
Hotels in China
You will get discount hotel rates, last-minute deals, hot deals, special offers, with a real-time reservation and on-line booking.


 Comments

 EasyExpat

06/10/2006

London black cabs to hit roads of Shanghai
Manganese, the company that makes London black cabs have agreed a £53 million deal with Chinese car manufacturer Geely to build 20,000 black cabs a year in Shanghai.

The deal with Geely would give Manganese its first manufacturing base overseas and open it up to the rapidly expanding Chinese car market.

The price of a black cab is between £22,000-£33,000 but it is expected to lower down due to the use of chinese components with Geely.

Do you have comments or personal information to communicate about this article? Add your comment.


Go to the Forum to talk more about transport in Shanghai, practical life.


Find more definitions and general answers on expatriation issues in the Expat FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).