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Downtown Metro trips to get quicker

METRO trips in the downtown area will take no longer than 25 minutes by 2012, by which time the subway network will comprise 13 lines, an official said yesterday.

There will be a Metro station every 900 meters in urban Shanghai by 2012 and it's estimated that any downtown commuter will take only 45 minutes -- allowing 20 minutes to reach the station and 25 minutes for the Metro journey, Ying Minghong, Chairman of the Board of Shanghai Shentong Metro Co Ltd, said yesterday at the National People's Congress in Beijing.

By 2012, Metro services will have more interchange points and be able to get passengers to all the major downtown business and commercial hubs more efficiently.

The government has promised to extend Metro lines deep into the city's fringes. Seven budget-housing complexes being built on the city's fringes will have Metro stations close by.

Both the city's airports are expected to be directly connected to Metro Line 2 in time for next year's World Expo.

A tunneling machine digging the western extension of Line 2 reached the site of the Hongqiao Integrated Traffic Hub earlier this week. The hub will be used by buses, Metros and high-speed rail lines, and is connected to Hongqiao Airport.

Ying said construction is also going smoothly on the Line 2 extension to Pudong International Airport.

Ying said they have already started system testing on Line 7, the second phase of lines 8 and 9 and the first phase of Line 11.

Ying said these new lines will begin services before the end of this year as had been planned.

The current eight Metro lines operating in Shanghai cover 234 kilometers and include 162 stations. By 2012 there will be nearly 350 stations, running a 500-kilometer route.

However, this won't be the end of Shanghai's Metro extensions.

According to a proposal submitted by the local urban planner to the central government, the city will build a further 300 kilometers of Metro lines beginning 2012.


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