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Line 7 opens Saturday

CITY'S Metro Line 7 will make its debut this Saturday, just a month behind schedule.

"Finally I can say goodbye to bus and take a subway to work," said Huo Fujie, who lives near a Line 7 station in Baoshan District.

Local subway operator Shanghai Shentong Group postponed last month's opening because some stations were unfinished.

Shanghai Shentong Group said yesterday the line would run a pilot operation for a year.

The 34.4-kilometer-long line, the city's ninth subway connecting northern Baoshan district to Pudong New Area, will initially run from 9am to 4pm, but will extend to 5:30am to 11pm within three months.

"We need further testing on all equipment to make sure it all runs in perfect condition," said Zhang Lingxiang, an operation manager with Shentong.

Zhang said the reduced hours will allow more time for testing and decrease the likelihood of breakdowns.

Line 7 is among three new Metro lines that will open before the Expo starts next May.

The line will have 24 six-carriage trains in service, with each carrying up to 2,500 people, and another 10 will be added before Expo.

The trains will run at 6-minute intervals and will become more frequent as new trains arrive.

The line connects with seven other subway lines on eight stations. With five stations in the Expo site, Line 7 has also become known as the "Expo Line."

Line 7 has 26 stations opening on Saturday and two more stations will open before the Expo, said the operator. Five more will be added after the event.

The line is expected to carry over 500,000 passengers a day when it opens and numbers will steadily rise next year, said the operator.

With the line's opening, traffic should ease on the 15 main city roads that housed construction.


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