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July 20, 2012

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Commuters find public transit gets speedier

SHANGHAI commuters using public transportation are getting to where they're going in less time on average as the system has developed, officials with the city's traffic authority said yesterday.

This is happening even as more commuters are taking public transportation to work as the city improves the system to address congestion problems, according to a survey conducted by the traffic administration.

On average, locals spend 50.8 minutes each time they use public transportation on the average 8.5-kilometer journey, considering the growing congestion in the city. That's 7.2 minutes shorter than in 2004, said traffic officials.

Among people using some form of transportation tool, nearly 50 percent use public transit, said the administration.

The city's public transportation system handles about 16.68 million passengers daily, the survey shows, a 34 percent jump compared with 2005.

The city is building four new subway lines or extension lines and plans to build another three in the future, with the total track topping more than 800 kilometers.

The traffic authority said it will make changes in the bus-only lanes and increase supervision.

Local police are adding monitoring cameras on street corners to help capture motorists that intrude into bus-only lanes.

It's part of a package of new methods to ensure traffic priority for buses, said Sun Jianping, director of Shanghai Transport and Port Administration.

"Drivers often become impatient and drive into the bus-only lanes on the right side of the street so that they can be the first to make right turns," Sun said. "Now police are planning on specific fines against such violators to take effect soon."

Despite all the plans, the transport watchdog said the city would still face heavier congestion this year given the current traffic trend.


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