Shanghai City Profile

Being one of the largest metropolises in the world, the city of Shanghai, with an area of 7037.50 square kilometres, holds a population as many as 24.2 million people. This means that averagely in every square kilometre there will be 3154 people living. Given this, how to effectively mobilise the population around the city to satisfy their daily needs becomes a important issue.

Investigation Enquiry:
How does the development of public transportation system affects the liveability of a city?

As illustrated in the first picture, the public transportation system in Shanghai can be generally divided into 3 parts: buses, taxis, and metros. Survey has shown that, daily passenger population is around 12.25 million in Shanghai, in which metro accounts to 1.8 million (15%); conventional bus line accounts for 7.48 million (61%); and taxi accounts for 2.96 million (24%).

Map of the latest Shanghai metro lines


Metro transport accounts for one of the most essential way of travelling in Shanghai. In recent time, the metro system has been growing and developing rapidly in terms of its reach, coverage, and connectivity. Up till April 2015, 15 metro lines have been put into place (including Maglev), with a total operation length of over 450km, and average passenger trips over 5.16 million per single day. Based on 600m station service radius circulation, one quarter of the land area in the city centre is covered by metro stations, directly serving 42% of the population dwelling in the city centre. The metro system connects all the most important and transportation hubs, including 2 airports and 3 railway stations.

Depending on the destination, the metro fare ranges between 3 Yuan to 7 Yuan.

In morning and evening rushing hours, metro proves to be much more efficient than private automobiles which normally suffer from traffic congestions.


Up to 2010, Shanghai has 927 public bus lines with 16944 buses in service. The transportation mileage adds up to 1.321 billion kilo metres, which transports 2.65 billion trips each bus.

Generally, the buses could be categorised into two groups: numerical lines and non-munercial lines. Numerical lines are conventional bus lines which follows a regular designated route each day. Non-numerical lines are buses providing special services or running unique routes. There are Airport express which connects the residents in the city centre to the two airports; Tunnel and Bridge express which specifically runs across the Huangpu River; and ones which runs between the downtown and suburban areas.

Normally, the conventional bus fare rages between 1 Yuan to 2 Yuan, which could be paid by cash or Jiao-tong Card.


Shanghai has approximately 45000 taxis, operated by over 150 companies, which could be distinguished by the different livery of the car.

Taxis operated round the clock. Fare starts at 14 RMB during the day (5 a.m. to 11 p.m.) and 18 RMB during the night. Prices are fixed during the first 3 kilometres of the ride and from that on, 2.4 RMB are added for every kilometre travelled (3.1 RMB) during the night.

Jiao-tong Ka

Logo of Shanghai Jiao-tong Ka ("Shanghai Public Transportation Card")

Jiao-tong Ka is the Chinese name for the Public Transportation card in Shanghai. Firstly launched in the year of 1999, Jiao-tong Ka is a convenient tool which effectively promotes the use of the public transport system. There are over 2000 agencies selling Jiao-tong Ka, including all the metro stations, .

Jiao-tong Ka is a rechargeable cash card, and allows access to a wide range of public transportation facilities in Shanghai, including

1. Metro

2. Bus

3. Taxi

4. Ferries

5. Park and Ride car parks etc.

The following video shows the other policies regarding to the Jiao-tong Ka including its discount policy which encourages the use of public transport system.


In the presence, Shanghai has formed a well-developed public transportation system in which the metro lines serve as the backbone, the ground public transport as the basic service, the taxis as the complements, the information system as the tool and the hubs as the links (Xiao).  According to the research, the current system enables the residents to travel between any two points in the city centre within an hour.


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