'Red' sightseeing bus tours kick off in city today
The city's first double-decker, hop-on-hop-off "red" sightseeing buses began trial operations today, connecting major revolutionary sites in the city to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
The route includes five stops – the sites of the first, second and fourth national congresses of the CPC, the May 30th Movement Monument and Nanjing Road E. The 20-kilometer trip takes 90 minutes and costs 20 yuan for adults.
The bus runs every hour between 8:30am and 4pm on Tuesdays through Sundays during trial operations.
It begins and ends at the May 30th Movement Monument near People's Park in Huangpu District.
Normal operations will begin when the sites of the first, second and fourth national congresses of the Communist Party of China open to the public, and buses will run every 30 minutes.
Currently, only the Memorial of the Second National Congress of the Communist Party of China is open to the public.
The route is operated by Shanghai Spring Tour.
The city's revolutionary history will be explored during the trip, with stops at more than 30 "red" memorial sites – including the former editorial department of the periodical La Juenesse, also known as New Youth, the former site of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Bowen Girls School, where some of the delegates including Chairman Mao Zedong stayed during the First National Congress of the CPC.
Passengers will receive a set of special postcards designed for the route as souvenirs. Mailboxes on the buses and at the five sites feature augmented reality technologies.
English services will be launched in the near future, Shanghai Spring Tour said.
"I am deeply touched by the unwavering spirit of revolutionary heroes," said Zhu Xiang, a tour guide.
He has been serving as a guide of the city's revolutionary sites for 22 years.
"The impression most out-of-town visitors have of Shanghai is metropolitan attractions, but the city also boasts very rich 'red' tourist resources," Zhu said. "The tour offers an innovative way to learn about the city's revolutionary history, taking people back to an era to experience how difficult being a revolutionary was. As a guide, I hope to share the stories of revolutionary heroes and promote their spirit."
A local resident surnamed Shao secured a seat on the first bus at 9:10am today.
"I used to take the Metro or cycle when visiting the city's 'red' venues," Shao said. "The bus is a more convenient option, and I plan to take my child and parents over the weekend."
"I will take the bus again when the Memorial the First National Congress of the Communist Party of China opens to learn about the revolutionary history of the city," said a 78-year-old passenger and local resident surnamed Wang.
The city's iconic red double-decker sightseeing buses have had nearly 20 million passengers since the service was launched in October 2010.
Twenty-three buses are currently in service on four routes that make stops at landmark local attractions such as the Bund, Lujiazui and Nanjing Road Pedestrian Mall.