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January 21, 2010

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Visitors told to avoid rush hour

SHANGHAI'S traffic authorities yesterday said people should delay their visits to the Expo site until after 10am to avoid rush hour traffic.

The authorities will also shut Metro stations inside the site in the event of emergencies such as December's subway train crash, Zhou Huai, deputy director with the Urban Transport Management Bureau, told a press conference yesterday.

The bureau has made detailed emergency plans to ensure the safety of Expo visitors, Zhou said.

Some stations will be skipped if a certain station within the site is overcrowded, and some will be shut in an emergency.

Five Metro lines have stations near the Expo site, with the still-under construction Line 13 taking passengers to three stations in the site itself, two on the Puxi side and one in Pudong.

Lines 4, 6, 7, 8 and 9 can carry 100,000 people per hour to nine stations near the Expo site at peak times.

Zhou also suggested visitors, especially those from outside Shanghai, enter the site from the five entrances in Pudong rather than the three in Puxi.

That was because about 75 percent of the ticket machines were on the Pudong side, he said.

Organizers will inform the visitors which entrances have fewest people by sending short messages and displaying the information on large screens at the entrances to the site. Some volunteers will also help to ease the visitor flow. All group visitors will enter the site from Pudong.

Many city residents had asked the bureau not to ban cars on alternate days as Beijing had done during the Olympics, after the organizers had sought public opinion online, Zhou said.

The bureau received 12,300 comments, with the "odd-and-even car plate policy" the main subject for debate, he said.

The policy would only be introduced as a last resort, Shanghai Vice Mayor Yang Xiong said in Beijing on Monday.

Zhou said the bureau's plans aimed at ensuring 90 percent of the 600,000 expected daily visitors would reach the Expo site by public transport.


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