More Shanghai residents are giving up their cars and taking public transport, reported the China Daily Thursday.
Forty-seven percent of Shanghai residents commuted between home and work using public transport over the past year, according to the Shanghai Municipal Transport and Port Authority.
Predicting that there will be more public transport commuters in Shanghai in the near future, the municipal government will expand its public transport network to meet this rising demand, as well as to ease traffic congestion. Currently, the city currently has no plans to charge drivers a congestion fee or introduce traffic control measures, Sun Jianping, head of the Shanghai Municipal Transport and Port Authority told the daily.
Instead, the authorities prefer to ease traffic jams by creating a public transport network that people want to use.
One of the ways the city intends to improve the public transportation system is through a planned upgrade of the subway network. According to the Shanghai Daily, the city will increase its subway range by adding 175 kilometers of subway track to the city’s underground network by the year 2015. This means the improved subway network will comprise some 600 kilometers of subway tracks upon completion.
The increased subway network will be much needed given the rising number of metro passengers in Shanghai. Last year, 34 percent of Shanghai residents who took public transport traveled on the Shanghai subway and this number is expected to hit 50 percent by 2015. Currently, the subway network carries about 6 million passengers per day linking 55 metro stations across 12 subway lines.
Shanghai’s transport authorities also have plans to expand its bus lanes from the existing 162 km to 300 km by the end of 2015, according to the municipal government. Shanghai currently has 50 bus hubs linking 208 routes.