There are many ways to get around town and I thought it would be good to explain to any Newbies who happen across our site how the types of transport work. I hope you find it useful as it would have been nice to have had this I think when we arrived. The prices are as of September 2012 and I probably won’t update them but it will give you a good idea.
I hope you know how to do this so we won’t explain. It is worth listing however as it is our #1 mode of transport here. In the summer it is a good idea to have a towel to wipe the sweat off your brow as it is like walking on the surface of the sun here. Many women carry umbrellas which is not a bad idea. It is hard to describe how hot it is walking around.
If you have a bike, this is the #2 way to get around. Make sure you have a bike lock as it will ‘ride away’ without you otherwise. Typically people lock them up with the ‘U’ shaped locks through the wheel and frame. Not usually actually locked to anything. Although ours was walked away locked like this.
Taxi service is pretty good here. The base fee is 11 RMB for 10Km. However, if you go 1Km, it is still 11 RMB. If you go farther it is approximately 1 RMB per Km. One thing to note is the meter does run in traffic as a taxi in the States so if you sit in traffic, the fee will be more. Generally, we seem to pay the minimum but if we go to Wal-Mart for example, it usually costs us around 15 RMB. Still a bargain.
When flagging a taxi, look for the light on the dashboard in the lower passenger side corner. The sign on the top means nothing. The light will be green (or red but lit up) if they do not have a fare. We are always trying to flag taxis with fares already as it is so hard to see. (See Transport Pics)
A few key words:
Turn Left - zuǒ guai(pronounced zwoh gway)
Turn Right - yòu guai(pronounced yo gway)
Straight Ahead - yízhí zǒu (pronounced yee-jihr zoh) I never have much luck with this one.
Stop - Tíngzhǐ (Pronounced Ting-zhi but we find saying Ting works well)
Busses are pretty easy once you get the system down. Every bus has a number on it and basically makes a continuous loop around town. Each bus stop has a sign with the bus numbers which stop at that particular stop (See Transport Pics). We have not had much luck finding a bus route map here so you just need to look at the stop near where you want to go and figure out the hops to get there. Google maps does list the bus numbers which stop at each stop if you click on the bus symbol (see pic) so it is one way to figure it out. It is harder if you are out and about but I will be working on an app to help if we can figure it out. In the mean time, just know the stop near where you want to go or where you live, hop on the bus and go for a ride until you figure it out!
There are two types of busses. One with A/C and one without. The bus itself will have a green snowflake next to the bus number if it has A/C and no snowflake if it does not have it. Simple! The cost is 2 RMB for an air conditioned bus and 1 RMB for one without air conditioning.
The underground light rail system just opened in May of 2012. Currently there is only one line which goes east/west starting at Mudu on the west and going east under Jinji lake ending at Zhongnan street. There are three more lines expected and under construction to be finished in the next 2-3 years.
When you walk in to a station, there are automatic machines to purchase tickets. The screen has an English button which changes the stop names to English but in reality they don’t mean much unless you know where you want to go. Again, the train stops are on Google so if you go there first you can get the name of the stop relative to where you want to go. Select the stop you want to go to and it will give you the fare. Just enter your RMB and it will give you a ticket. Proceed to the train and scan your ticket at the turn style. Keep your ticket as you will need it when you exit the train. Once you exit the train, inset your ticket in the turn style. It will keep your ticket and let you through. The fare is 5RMB for the longest ride so it is quite reasonable.
Of course cash is a good option and they all take that but you can get a pass which allows you to put money on a card which works for the busses and light rail. You also get a slight discount using the card.
|Shanghai Metro/Maglev Pics|