Bus 71 success sparks plans for second service

An average of 54,000 people took the No. 71 bus on working days in December, making it the city's busiest bus route.
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Two No. 71 buses make their scheduled stop at Huashan Road Station yesterday. 

The city's transport commission is planning another medium-capacity bus route following the success of the No. 71 service, which began last year. It, however, did not reveal details.

The No. 71 runs under Yan’an Elevated Road from Yan’an Road E. near Zhongshan Road E1 in Huangpu District to Shenkun Road in Minhang District.

An average of 54,000 people took the bus each working day in December, making it the city's busiest bus route. Previously, the buses that served the route were used by around 30,000 commuters a day.  

The increase in the number of passengers was despite the cancellation of seven bus routes and 350 fewer bus operations from Yan’an Road to Huqingping Expressway.

Meanwhile, the daily operations of the No. 71 has gradually increased to 562. Every two and a half minutes during rush hours a No. 71 bus would depart from its origin station.

“Previously, the total daily commuter number of bus routes 925, 127 and 48 was about 30,000, far less than the number of Bus 71,” said He Fang, an officer from Shanghai Ba-Shi Transportation Group, operator of Bus 71. “Which means the efficiency of bus system along Yan’an Road has been improved.”

Shan Qiyue, who works in a Japanese company near Shuicheng Road, takes Bus 71 to work every day from Huashan Road. She told Shanghai Daily she used to drive to work until she discovered that the 71 was more convenient.

“Traffic jams during rush hour were simply mad, and I have to arrive early to get a parking space,” said Shan. “But with Bus 71, I don’t have to worry about all that.”

The average speed of Bus 71 is about 18 kilometers per hour, 30 per cent faster than ordinary buses in the city, because of its dedicated bus-only lane.

Two branch lines of Bus 71 — Bus 1250 and 1251 — started operation by the end of December last year and have also proved successful. According to the Ba-Shi company, passenger flow on the two lines has increased by 100 percent and 53 percent, respectively.

More branch lines will open this year to further improve the No. 71 service. Meanwhile, the city’s transport department is sitting down with experts about the building of a new medium-capacity line in the downtown area.

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