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April 6, 2012

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Long lines as Metro limits entry in morning

LONG passenger queues waited yesterday morning outside the stations of Metro lines 1, 6 and 8, where riders were restricted from entering during the morning rush, the first work day after the Qingming Festival.

They had to wait 10 to 20 minutes before they were allowed in, Metro officials said. The policy started yesterday to smooth operations at the stations, which have long been plagued by huge crowds vying to jam into trains, delaying their departures.

Shanghai Shentong Metro Group, the subway operator, said the policy "is expected to be a long-term one."

The measures aim to slow passengers entering the stations during rush hours to allow those who are on the platforms to be carried away in time.

At least five busy stations, like Line 1's Xinzhuang and Line 8's Yangsi Road stops, are among the affected subway hubs. The limitations are in effect from 7:15am to 8:45am.

"Taking the subway is now like lining up for the World Expo," half-joked a passenger, surnamed Wu, who arrived about 8am yesterday at Yangsi Road stop but was stunned to see the long queues.

Wu said he arrived earlier than usual but still worried that he would be late for work. Many others expressed the same concern.

More than 8,000 riders normally enter the Yangsi stop during the morning rush hour. The number yesterday decreased to 4,000 with the limitations.

The platform conditions improved, and each train could leave on schedule in the morning, said official Lan Tian.

In the past, the overwhelming crowds jammed the doors, and trains were unable to leave, causing delays at the following stations, said Lan.


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