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Travel across the city with the Shanghai Metro

Connecting to almost every corner of this dynamic city, the Shanghai Metro is probably the fastest and the most convenient way to move about in the downtown area. Despite being the largest city by population in the People's Republic of China (PRC), the Metro provides commuters with great access to almost every part of Shanghai.  The Metro currently has 12 lines and 292 stations, with an operating route length of over 454 kilometres, making the system the second longest in the world. Moreover, the Shanghai Metro has claimed to be the fifth busiest metro system in the world with a daily ridership of more than 7.5 million. 

Advantages and Disadvantages

The Shanghai Metro, as with elsewhere in the world, is the quickest method to get around a congested metropolis. With maximum fares coming up to 9 Yuan per journey, depending on the distance, this makes the Metro a cheaper choice of transport as compared to taxis.  Some distinctivefeatures of the Shanghai metro include the simplicity and clarity of the graph format, as well as the pinyin-supported Chinese signs which all sum up to a great helping hand for foreigners.

Another noticeable advantage is that it is by far the best way to get across the Huangpu River between Pudong and Puxi. Lastly, it connects to both railway stations in Shanghai and provides a link to the maglev which goes to Pudong International Airport.

On a side note, it is important to be aware of your surroundings and be wary of thieves, both on the train and on the platform, especially during crowded situations.

The Lines

Line 1 is the main north-south line of the Shanghai Metro which allows passengers to interchange with lines 2 and 8 at People’s Square, line 3 at Shanghai South Railway Station, line 4 at Shanghai Indoor Stadium and line 5 at Xinzhuang. Apart from including Shanghai’s two railway stations, the map of line 1 is completed with virtual interchanges with line 9 at Xujiahui and with lines 3 and 4 at Shanghai Railway Station. This provides accessibility to many important downtown areas such as People's Square, Xintiandi, Huaihai Road and Xujiahui.

First and Last Train

Fujin Rd: 5:30am-10:30pm

Xinzhuang: 5:30am-10:32pm

Line 2 goes East-West across Shanghai meeting with lines 1 and 8 at People's Square. This line provides access to Nanjing Road West and East, and the Bund. More importantly, this is the Metro line to Pudong International Airport where you can change for the maglev to get to the airport. In general, Line 2 runs from East Xujing in the west to Pudong International Airport in the east, passing Hongqiao Airport, the Huangpu River,theLujiazui financial district in Pudong, the high-tech industrial Zhangjiangpark as well as traversing busy Western suburbs of Zhongshan Park.

First and Last Train:

East Xujing: 5:30am-10:45pm

Pudong International Airport: 6am-10pm

Line 3 is an operating line of the Shanghai Metro system and is known as the Pearl Line, It is marked bright yellow in metro maps and the trains also carry a bright yellow colour belt for easy identification. The line runs from North Jiangyang Road in the north to Shanghai South Railway Station in the southwest of the city, where it meets Line 1. Line 3 principally follows old rail routes around the town: a ring from the old Shanghai–Hangzhou Railway and a northern stretch from Baoshan Road to Songbin Road Station.

First and Last Train

Shanghai South Railway Station: 5:25am-10:30pm

North Jianyang Rd: 5:25am-10:35pm

Line 4 is a loop line covering both Pudong and Puxi and it follows the Inner Ring Road for most of the route. It also shares the route from Baoshan Road to Hongqiao Road with line 3.

First and Last Train

Clockwise: 5:30am-10:30pm

Anti-Clockwise: 5:30am-10:30pm

Line 5, also known as Xinmin Line, connects the southernmost station of Line 1, Xinzhuang with the Minhang Development Zone in Minhang, a suburban district of Shanghai.

First and Last Train

Xinzhuang: 6am-10:30pm

Minhang Development Zone: 6am-10pm

Line 6, briefly known as the Pudong Light Railway, runs mainly north-south on the Shanghai Metro network. The entire line is located in Pudong, providing the area with links to lines 2 and 4. 

First and Last Train

Oriental Sports Center: 5:30am-10:30pm

Gangcheng Rd: 5:30am-10:30pm

Line 7 runs from the Baoshan District of Shanghai to the downtown core as well as the Pudong New Area and the Expo 2010 site, with transfer stations at Jing'an Temple and Changshu Road stations. With five stations inside the Expo site, it helped to serve traffic demands during the Expo 2010.

First and Last Train

Huamu Rd: 5:30am-10pm

Meilan Lake: 6am-10pm

Line 8 or the Yangpu Line links some older parts of Shanghai such as Laoximen to the city center as well as covering more parts of the northeast.

First and Last Train

Shiguang Rd: 5:30am-10:30pm

Aerospace Museum: 5:30am-10:30pm

Line 9 can be considered as a heavy rail line that runs mainly east-west on the Shanghai Metro network system. The line runs from Songjiang South Railway Station in Songjiang District to Middle Yanggao Road in Pudong.

First and Last Train:

Middle Yanggao Rd: 5:30am-10:30pm

Songjiang South Railway Station: 5:40am-9:50pm

Coloured lavender on system maps, Line 10 consists of a main line and a branch line. The first phase of the main line currently runs from New Jiangwan Town to Longxi Road while the branch line runs from Longxi Road on the main line to Hangzhong Road. The second phase, in planning, is a northern extension of the first phase of Line 10 from New Jiangwan Town to Huandongyi Avenue. This phase should be completed by 2020.

First and Last Train

Hangzhong Rd: 5:30am-9:55pm

Hongqiao Railway Station: 5:55am-10pm

Xinjiangwancheng (towards Hangzhou Rd): 5:30am-9:55pm

Xinjiangwancheng (towards Hongqiao Railway Station): 5:35am-10pm

Line 11, coloured maroon on the metro map, has two lines: Line A (the Main Line) and Line B (the Branch Line). Though they start from different stations, they have the same route and stations after Jiading New City. Line A starts from Jiading North, while Line B starts from Anting and connects with Shanghai International Circuit where the Formula One racetrack is located.

First and Last Train

Anting: 5:37am-9:32pm

North Jiading: 5:38am-9:43pm

Jiangsu Rd (towards Anting): 6:09am-9:55pm

Jiangsu Rd (towards North Jiading): 6am-10pm

Line 13 is an east-west line on the Shanghai Metro network. A short section of it had opened between April and October in 2010 to cater for the Expo 2010 where it was only accessible for tourists and workers helping out in the Expo. As of 2013, only a short western section of the line from Jinyun Road to Jinshajiang Road is open. The rest of the line is still under construction.

Free wifi is provided on Line 13. Passengers can access the service by entering their cellphone numbers and verification code.

First and Last Train

Jinyun Rd: 6am-10pm

Jinshajiang Rd: 6:20am-10pm

Line 16 is a suburban Metro network that runs from Longyang Road to Dishui Lake. It has a total length of 58.96 kilometers with 13 stations that are all located in the Pudong New Area. The line connects many suburban scenic spots including Xinchang Ancient Town, Shanghai Wild Animals Park, Shanghai Flower Port, Nanhui Peach Blossom Village and Dishui Lake, so it is also nicknamed the “suburban tour line.”

First and Last Train

Dishui Lake: 6am-10pm

Longyang Rd: 6:20am-10pm


Interchanges and Transfer Stations

There are stations where several Metro lines meet and they are known as interchange stations. There are two types of interchange stations: physical interchange and virtual interchange stations. In a physical interchange station, passengers can transfer between subway lines without exiting a fare zone. In a virtual interchange station, however, passengers have to exit and re-enter fare zones as they transfer from one subway line to another. 

Moreover, passengers with the Shanghai public transport card (SPTC) are privileged to enjoy discounted fares, just by swiping the card when transferring lines.

Stations of Lines 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 have installed platform screen doors with sliding acrylic glass at the platform edge to act as safety shields. The train stops with its doors lined-up with the sliding doors on the platform edge and open when the train doors open, and are closed at other times. For other cases, on the People's Square Station of Line 2, the platform has sliding safety doors that reach only halfway up from the ground called Automatic platform gates. 

Accessibility facilities for the disabled are also available at a few stations.

Three-Color system

For increased convenience, the Shanghai metro has incorporated a "Three-color system". Launched on 31st December, 2009, this ground-breaking new system provides visitors with an easy way of getting around the metropolitan city.

The colors, serving much like traffic lights, are red, yellow and green. The colors represent three distinct states of the train. Red represents an interrupted operation, while Yellow and Green show that the train is in a crowded state and normal flow, respectively.

The information is updated in "real time", allowing awaiting passengers to determine the status, as displayed on the monitors in the stations. Information about different lines is also accessible from inside the train and on the Official Shanghai Metro Website (www.shmetro.com).

Future Constructions

Line 5 will be expanded and its project includes a South Extension and a North Extension. For the South extension of Line 5, a branch line from the north side of Dongchuan Road will go straight at Humin Road, and cross the Huangpu River by Minpu 2nd Bridge to Fengxian District, 1st phase is from Dongchuan Road to NanqiaoXincheng, will construction between 2010 to 2020, 2nd phase will go south to Haiwan. There is no timetable given as to when the completion will be.

As for the North extension, the north part of this line will connect Xinzhuang and Hongqiao Railway Station. This line will thus have 11 stations.

In the future, Line 9 will extend 14.5 km East to Caolu Town, introducing 8 new stations and this will be constructed between 2010 to 2020. The original plan to Chongming will use Line 19 instead.

The second phase, in planning, is a northern extension of the first phase of Line 10 from New Jiangwan Town to Huandongyi Avenue. This phase will be completed by 2020.

By the end of 2020, new metro lines 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 will be introduced and there is a long term plan prepared to extend Line 1, Line 5, Line 19, 20 and 21 but no definite timetable is released yet.

Click here to check the Metro ticketing information.

Click here to check the maglev service.

Customer Service: (86-21) 52920164