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April 20, 2010

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All systems go for Expo trials

IF it seems more crowded on buses and subways this morning, there's a good reason: the first public preview of the Shanghai World Expo kicks off at 9am.

It's the first of six previews and they are meant to be as much a test of the city's public transport systems as of the workings of the Expo itself.

Some 1.25 million visitors are expected at the previews, and everyone has been encouraged to take mass transit.

The trials will run from 9am to 6pm each day, with no one being admitted onto the site after 4pm. At least 70 percent of the pavilions should be open, as well as the Expo's five permanent buildings: the China Pavilion, the Expo Boulevard, the Expo Center, the Theme Pavilion and the Expo Culture Center.

Visitors will be able to use all the infrastructure facilities, enjoy business services, and watch certain performances such as Expo parades.

There are eight gates to the Expo site by land, one underground and four by water.

People can choose one of the five Metro lines - Line 4, 7, 6, 8 and 13. Metro Line 13 is a special line that operates only for the Expo site; people can get the train from the Madang Road Station, transferring from Line 9. No Metro ticket will be needed at that point, just an Expo ticket.

Thirty-six bus routes will be taking visitors to the site. People can get on at the Shanghai and Shanghai South railway stations, Shanghai Stadium, Pudong International Airport and Hongqiao transport hub.

You can also take an Expo taxi, one of the 4,000 new cars that have exclusive rights.

But don't try to drive to the Expo site. There is no parking lot for private vehicles.

Boats to the Expo site can be boarded on the Huangpu River at Shiliupu, Dongchang Road, Qinhuangdao Road and Qichangzhan.

The trials will also test security and volunteer arrangements and see how all the preparations check out.

The six trial operations will be held today, tomorrow and Friday through Monday.

The Expo site will welcome the most visitors, about 500,000, on Sunday.


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