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December 7, 2010

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Home » Metro » Public Services

High-speed trains, low-speed service

HIGH-SPEED trains may have drastically cut the journey time to Hangzhou or Nanjing, but travelers are losing time due to poor signposting and car parking arrangements at the Hongqiao transport hub, local legislators said yesterday.

Signs are not clear at the Hongqiao transport hub, especially at the two terminals of Hongqiao Airport and Hongqiao Railway Station, from where high-speed trains depart, said Lin Liping, a legislator.

Lin said when she travels abroad, even if not familiar with the language, she can still easily follow signs at the airport to get a taxi or use the public transport system.

"However, I am unable to do the same thing at the Hongqiao Airport, even though I can read Chinese," said Lin.

Lin said many people would struggle to get to the Metro from the two terminals without the help of staff.

Zhou Baogong, an official with Shenhong, the main constructor of the transport hub, said: "It's possible that the signs are not clear enough. If passengers do not know the airport as well as we do, they might find it difficult (to find the Metro)."

Zhou promised to make improvements.

Finding their cars

Lin was also unimpressed with car parking arrangements at Hongqiao Railway Station. She said people would usually spend about half an hour finding their cars at the parking lot, while the journey by high-speed train between Shanghai and Hangzhou takes little more than that.

She asked: "In which case, what's the point of taking a high-speed train?"

Liu Xiaomin, an official with the traffic management company of the Hongqiao transport hub, admitted that it does take travelers some time to find their vehicles, especially if they can't remember exactly where they parked them. "We will ask our workers to remind people to make a note of where they park," said Liu.

A local traveler, who asked not to be named, told Shanghai Daily yesterday that he thought signs at the airport terminals were adequate. "Maybe that's because I'm familiar with the airport," he said.

However, he said supporting facilities at Hongqiao Railway Station were not good enough, especially for people who drive to the station. "The names of some roads connecting to the station are hard to find on maps," he said. "And the areas nearby are a bit chaotic, as some roads are still under construction and tunnels are being dug."

Liu said infrastructure and supporting services are still being improved. He revealed that everything will be complete by the end of next year. "We'd also consider setting up a website for passengers to raise questions about hub services," Liu said.


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