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Bus-besotted local has colorful transport scheme

A MAN who quit his job seven years ago and has spent 300,000 yuan (US$43,960) of his own money to develop a color-coded system for the city's bus network is waiting in hope that Shanghai's urban transport authority will implement his idea.

Chang Fuxing, 62, said his system would help many people, particularly those from out of town, quickly find the right bus to catch.

"My creation will help improve public transport as the instruction boards at bus stops would be clear and easy to understand," he told Shanghai Daily yesterday.

"It has received support from Shanghai transport authorities. I believe it will be accepted and put into use before the Expo."

While the city's urban transport authority has shown interest in evaluating his system, there is no plan to adopt it yet.

Chang divided the city into three sections and uses colors to represent each one. Red is used for buses on the east side of the Huangpu River; blue for the area south of Suzhou Creek; and green on routes north of Suzhou Creek.

The different colors would be used on instruction boards in the front and on the side of buses. The left part of the board uses one color to show the beginning of the route and the right side uses a color to indicate where the route terminates.

Destinations such as airports, railway stations and Expo pavilions will have a small logo.

Chang dreamt up the identification system in 2001 when he found it confusing to find the right bus because they "all look the same."

After Shanghai won the bid to host the Expo, he thought the city needed a more efficient identification system for buses.

He then quit his job and has since devoted most of his time to creating a better bus identification system.

"I went out everyday with my handbook and camera to note all the problems about confusing instructions on bus routes," Chang says.

In 2003, Chang set up Yadi Culture Development Company, which is devoted to spotting problems on bus routes in Shanghai.

Chang employed five people at that time and so far he has devoted more than 300,000 yuan to his ideas. He says he doesn't want the money back.

"Once I decide to do something, I must make it perfect," Chang says. "That's my only motivation."


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