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All about the Metro ticketing system in Shanghai

Similar to other metro systems in the world, Shanghai Metro also adopts the distance-based fare system. Ticket fares range from 3 Yuan for journeys under 6km, then 1 Yuan for each additional 10 km. 

It is advisable to purchase tickets from a ticket vending machine which automatically calculates the fare according to the destination station specified. However, general knowledge of how the fare is calculated will be helpful too. Here are some points you may find useful:

Users of the Shanghai public transport card (SPTC) can get a 10% discount for the rest of the calendar month after paying 70 Yuan. The discount is applied only for journeys after the payment; it is not retroactively applied to previous journeys.

As part of the "Air-conditioned Bus Transfer Discount", SPTC users are entitled to a 1 Yuan discount when transferring to the metro within 90 minutes. (The 10% monthly discount may be applied after the transfer discount) This discount also applies for bus to Metro and bus to bus transfers and can accumulate over multiple transfers. Depending on the time spent at the destination, the discount will be applied at the start of the return trip as well, making the cost of a round-trip 11 Yuan instead of the original 16 Yuan. 

Senior citizens over 70 years of age can take the metro for free (except during peak hours, 7–9am and 5–7pm on weekdays) by using their social security cards (also RFID-embedded) at a special gantry at each metro station.

Ticket/ Card/ Pass

Single-ride ticket


Single-ride tickets can be purchased from ticket vending machines or at a ticket window. Single-ride tickets are embedded with RFID contactless chips. When entering the system you tap the ticket against a scanner above the turnstile, and on exit you insert the ticket into a slot where it is stored and recycled.

Transit card

Fares can also be paid using a Shanghai public transport card (SPTC). This RFID-embedded card can be purchased at selected banks, convenience stores and metro stations with a 20 Yuan deposit. You can top up your card at ticket booths, Service Centers at the metro stations as well as many small convenience stores and banks throughout the city. The SPTC can also be used to pay for other forms of transportation, such as taxi or bus.

One-Day Pass

A one-day pass was introduced for the Expo 2010 held in Shanghai. The fare for the calendar day was set at 18 Yuan, for unlimited travel within the metro system. This has to be purchased at Service Centers at metro stations and is not available through vending machines.

3- Day Tourist Pass

As of 1st March 2012, tourists to Shanghai are able to purchase a new 45-yuan pass which will allow unlimited journeys on all Shanghai Metro lines for a 72 hour period. This is in addition to the existing one-day pass for 18 Yuan.

Click here to check the Metro lines information.

Click here to check the maglev service.

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