How to explore Shanghai's public transportation system

Arina Yakupova Ma Xuefeng
Let's go on a journey through the bustling metropolis of Shanghai, where we can explore the many transportation options available to navigate the city efficiently.
Arina Yakupova Ma Xuefeng

Today Arina will be your guide as she uncovers the ins and outs of Shanghai's transportation system. Are you ready for an adventure? Let's go!

Shot by Arina Yakupova and Ma Xuefeng. Edited by Ma Xuefeng. Subtitles by Wang Xinzhou.

Metro

The Shanghai Metro is renowned as the world's largest subway system, boasting 20 lines, including the impressive maglev line. With its extensive network, the Metro provides rapid and interconnected travel, connecting you to almost any destination in Shanghai.

To purchase a ticket, you will find self-service ticketing machines at each station. These machines offer interfaces in both Chinese and English, making it easy for travelers to select their destination, pay the fare, and obtain their ticket.

How to explore Shanghai's public transportation system
Ma Xuefeng / SHINE

You will find self-service ticketing machines at each station close to the entry.

Fares on the Shanghai Metro are distance-based, typically costing no more than 6 yuan (US$0.84) for a trip within downtown.

For convenience, you can also utilize transportation cards or pay through Alipay's QR code or NFC function.

How to explore Shanghai's public transportation system
Ma Xuefeng / SHINE

Apps like Shanghai MetroMan (bottom left) can help in finding the best routes and estimating travel times between stations.

Consider using helpful apps like Shanghai MetroMan, which not only assist in finding the best routes but also estimate travel times between stations. Remember to check the official website (http://service.shmetro.com/en/) for station operating hours, as the metro generally opens at 5:30 am and closes at 11 pm on weekdays, with extended hours on Fridays and Saturdays.

Bus

Another popular mode of public transportation in Shanghai is the bus system. While bus stop names are displayed in Chinese characters, there are ways to navigate the system, even if you don't read Chinese.

At every bus stop, you will find standardized information boards. Although the content is in Chinese, it follows a consistent format. The board displays the bus schedule, including the arrival times of the first and last buses. You can identify the bus number, direction, and all the stops along the route. The current stop is often highlighted in red.

How to explore Shanghai's public transportation system

Some bus stops also feature electronic displays showing estimated arrival times for the next bus. If you encounter any difficulties understanding the information, don't hesitate to seek assistance.

How to explore Shanghai's public transportation system
Ma Xuefeng / SHINE

Some bus stops also feature electronic displays showing estimated arrival times for the next bus.

Once you locate the appropriate bus heading in your desired direction, enter through the front door. Bus fares typically amount to 2 yuan, payable in coins inserted into a box or through the use of the Shanghai Public Transportation Card. Alipay is another accepted payment method. When you reach your destination, simply exit through the rear door without tapping your card again.

Buses in Shanghai adhere to specific schedules, including night buses that operate from 11pm until the early morning hours.

Bicycle

For an eco-friendly and immersive way to explore Shanghai, consider utilizing the city's shared bicycle system. Various bike-sharing companies offer bicycles distinguished by their color.

To use the service, download the app, find an available bike, scan the QR code, and start your adventure. Remember to lock the bike securely when you finished you ride, otherwise you will be fined.

Ferry

The Huangpu River gracefully winds through Shanghai, dividing the city into Pudong and Puxi. While there are several metro lines and tunnels connecting these areas, many individuals, especially those on motorcycles or bicycles, prefer the unique experience of crossing the river by ferry.

Shanghai boasts 14 passenger ferry lines currently, with intervals ranging from 10 to 40 minutes between operations.

Passengers can pay for their ferry rides using coins or a transportation card. The ferry ride costs 2 yuan.

How to explore Shanghai's public transportation system
Ma Xuefeng / SHINE

The ferry prices.

Special Reports

Top