Of­fi­cials call for im­prove­ments to metro sys­tem

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By ZHOU WENT­ING in Shang­hai zhouwent­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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.

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