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Metro upgrades after passenger surge

THE Shanghai Metro authority is adding more trains and support staff after last Friday saw 4.14 million passengers use the system - just short of the record 4.31 million passengers recorded last December 31.

The average number of passengers per day for the first two months of the year surged to 3.5 million, compared with 3 million last year, Xinmin Evening News reported today.

Today between 8am to 8:05am, 47,200 passengers passed through the ticket barriers of the city's eight lines.

The rapidly increasing passenger volume as well as cold wet weather over the past three weeks has caused breakdowns. A train on Metro Line 1 broke down between Out Ring Road Station and Xinzhuang Station this morning during the peak hour and caused delays. But it only took repair staff seven minutes to solve problem. A week before, a breakdown at Metro Line 2 caused a 31-minute delay.

To meet the challenges, the Metro authority is dividing its Metro system and urban railway system into four branches and setting up a network operation center to ensure smooth running for the trains and effective monitoring.

When there are malfunctions in future central command system orders will reach frontline support staff immediately.

As well as to the current eight repair centers, three new centers have now been set up with 24 experienced technicians. Four task forces and 131 extra repair and maintenance staff are on duty in peak hours, some riding the trains.

From the end of last month on overnight shifts, nearly 1,000 technicians have been checking the city's eight lines and 162 stations.

By the end of the year each of the 53 trains on Metro Line 1 will have eight cars instead of six. Line 2 will also have its 37 trains running with eight cars by June. From next January Metro Line 6 is expected to have 32 trains up from the present 21.

The Pudong extension of the 14.25-kilometer Line 8 will open at the beginning of July. Line 7, the second phase of Line 9, and the first phase of Line 11 will open this year.

By the opening of World Expo next year, Line 10, the eastern and western extension of Line 2, and the northern extensions of Lines 7 and 13 will be in use.


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