Shanghai's buses getting greener, smarter

Zhang Ningning
Zhang Ningning
The city transport authorities want emission-less buses and comprehensive Wi-Fi cover to create a cutting edge public transport system.
Zhang Ningning
Zhang Ningning

Shanghai aims to make buses in the city center and suburban hubs emissions-free and implement comprehensive Wi-Fi cover as it moves to a smarter, greener public transport network.

Transport commission officials told journalists yesterday all buses on Chongming Island — an environmental showcase for the city — would be electric by 2020.

“For a metropolis like Shanghai, the city cannot afford for everyone to resort to private cars,” said Xie Feng, head of the commission. “Therefore we must provide better public transportation and encourage more residents to use it.”

Shanghai’s public transit system deals with about 18 million journeys a day on average.

That compares with just under 17 million journeys a day in 2011.

Most of the journeys are on the Metro network, whose daily volume generally exceeds 10 million passengers, with a record of 18 million journeys a day.

By the end of this year, three new Metro lines are expected to come into operation — Pujiang Line, Metro Line 17 and the East Extension of Line 9 (Phase 3). Another two lines — the South Extension of Line 5 and the second and third phase of Line 13, will be connected in 2018.

These will contribute to the city’s aims to build a Metro network stretching 800 kilometers by 2020, from 617 kilometers now, including the Maglev.

To make the Metro service more accessible and serving more residents, in addition to extending six major lines’ operating hours on Fridays and Saturdays, the authority is also promoting close connection between Metro and bus networks. The setting of nearby bus stations has been taken into consideration when constructing new Metro stations.

Three-thirds of Metro stations have bus services within 50 meters, and nearly 90 percent of them have bus services in 100 meters. The authority plans to increase the number of bus services within 50 meters of a Metro station.

But Metro services remain the most popular with the city’s 24 million residents.

“We found many residents want to take buses, but worried about reliability and punctuality,” said Xie, adding the authority aims to expand bus-only lanes as well as giving priority to buses on intersections with smarter traffic signal systems.

By the end of September, the city had bus-only lanes stretching 345 kilometers. The authority aims to extend that to 360 kilometers by the end of this year and further to 500 kilometers by 2020.

It also plans to make the city’s bus network more comprehensive and connected.

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