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September 19, 2011

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Color codes for Metro lines draw in public

TIME to distinguish colors, Metro riders. Actually, it's already too late.

Shanghai transport authorities solicited public opinions on color codes for new Metro lines under construction or being planned. The solicitation period ended last Friday.

Many said the colors would be helpful while others thought that too many would "just cause confusion."

The city now has 11 lines, with about 425 kilometers of track, and will have 18 lines in the future. By 2014, the city will have 14 lines of more than 500 kilometers track.

Do colors really help?

According to an online survey conducted at, nearly 60 percent of people said they support color codes as "they can make different Metro lines easy to recognize."

The Shanghai Shentong Metro Group, the operator, said the colors help guide passengers, especially at big transfer hubs such as Century Avenue, where four lines converge.

On the Metro color palette drawing board are colors not commonly seen, like grey and brown, as obvious ones like red and green were long ago taken by existing lines.

"Now I may be getting confused," said Karen Yu, a daily Metro rider. "There are already resembling ones."

Yu said she usually look for the line numbers.

In the survey, about 18 percent of respondents, like Yu, said they thought numbers would function better than colors, suggesting the operator put more and bigger numbers together with the colors.

Another 12 percent said too many colors just cause confusion.

The city is planning to stretch Metro lines to six neighboring cities in Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces as the Yangtze River Delta region sees much closer integration.


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