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February 23, 2010

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Line 2 work brings messy commute

MORE special buses will be in place today to ease severe overcrowding of the makeshift system that's filling in for a Metro service shutdown between two Line 2 stops in the Pudong New Area, the city's transport watchdog said.

The terminal station at Zhangjiang High-Tech Park, one of the city's busiest workplaces, has been closed for a week for a construction project that is extending Line 2 to the Pudong International Airport.

For the affected commuters, the good news is this morning should be the last they'll endure without their usual train.

The Zhangjiang station is to be back in normal service tomorrow, this phase of construction completed. Longer stretches of the route will open by sections and, eventually, Metro traffic to the airport will be available by end of next month.

The great future convenience to air travelers comes at a cost - and commuters who need to take the Metro to work in the Zhangjiang area are paying it now.

With many local companies reopening for the first time in the Chinese New Year yesterday, the service shutdown between the two affected stations yesterday morning resulted in alarming overcrowding on the street as people waited to catch the special shuttles, and terrible congestion on board the buses as well.

Huge crowds of riders waiting for the special shuttle buses were packed outside the Longyang Road Metro Station in rush hour, the crowds almost occupying the whole street, a Shanghai Daily reporter found.

With the help of traffic-police officers and assistants, traffic was in good order but almost each bus was extremely packed and the driver needed the help of traffic assistants to push the passengers in to get the doors closed.

The Pudong transport authority said yesterday it will increase the number of shuttle buses from 45 to around 60 this morning.

The free buses are for Metro riders forced to get off at the Longyang Road Station because of the construction.

Although these buses were coming only several minutes from each other yesterday morning, they still failed to prevent the forming of huge crowds.

With more buses in service today, the interval is expected to be shortened to about two minutes, said Dai Xing, director of the Pudong City Transport Administration Bureau.

The ride from the Longyang Road stop to Zhangjiang Park, ordinarily three minutes by Metro, took about 40 minutes by the makeshift bus, so severe was the road congestion.

In smooth traffic, a car would take about 10 minutes, Dai said.

"As many riders complained about being stuck in the slow bus traffic this morning, we could say we wish the ground traffic would not always be that bad each and every morning," Dai said.


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