Officials call for improvements to metro system
Political advisers in Shanghai are considering introducing better supporting facilities for the municipality’s metro system so as to provide more convenience for commuters.
Metro lines in Shanghai span more than 600 km and will exceed 800 km in 2020. However, some political advisers noticed that the proportion of private car driving in Shanghai is much higher than in other Asian cities and have attributed this to the inconvenience of having to take the subway.
“Roughly 90 percent of people in Tokyo and Hong Kong use public transport — subway in most cases — when they go to downtown areas, and only 10 percent of people drive. But the ratio in Shanghai is 60 to 40 percent,” said Tse Yunghoi, a Hongkonger who is a member of the Shanghai Municipal Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Shanghai’s political advisory body.
Tse, who is also chairman of BOCI- Prudential Asset Management Ltd, said that some of the ways to encourage more people to take the metro would be to ensure that the lines are seamlessly connected to bus stops and increase the frequency of bus services near metro stations.
“The authorities can also set up more car and bike parking spaces located near major metro stations that provide commuters easier access to the city center,” said the Hongkonger.
He also noted that Shanghai can learn from Hong Kong’s transportation network by building more underground passages or pedestrian overpasses between subway stations and office buildings or residential neighborhoods.
“I often take the subway home in Hong Kong. The five-minute walk I have to take after getting off the subway is through an underground passage that keeps me dry when it rains,” Tse said.
Some political advisers have also urged for more escalators and elevators to be built inside the metro stations.
“Very often in the metro stations there are only escalators going up. But for elderly people who have difficulty getting about, walking down the stairs is no easier than having to walk up. Shanghai has the country’s highest proportion of aging residents,” said Zhang Hua, chairman of the Huangpu district branch of the city’s political advisory body.