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January 9, 2013

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Music helps soothe the Metro masses

METRO authorities are gradually starting to focus on creating a better cultural environment along the city's extensive subway network.

A three-year plan has been established to add sculptures and various performances to stations and trains starting this year.

Background music can now be heard at Nanjing Road W. Station of Metro Line 2, raising interest among commuters.

"We like this idea," said Zhou Yu, a frequent rider and subway fan. "Music can relieve stress and pressure and help passengers feel more peaceful."

The music, mainly slow with light melodies, will be broadcast from 10am to 3pm daily during a two-month trial at the station.

Adjustments will be made based on commuters' opinions.

A weekly performance will be held at the music corner, which has recently been set up at People's Square Station.

The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra gave the first show last week.

Zhou, who also collects opinions from other riders, said he hopes music will be played in more stations. "We'd like to hear new year-themed songs for the Chinese New Year," Zhou said.

The city's Metro system, one of the world's busiest, handles more than 6 million passengers a day on average and has long been criticized for "lacking human interest."

While dull designs and poorly thought out locations for turnstiles make the subway not so pleasant for commuters, Metro authorities said they are starting to make changes.

About 40 sculptures featuring different themes will be added at some stations. There are already 60 now. Disney features will be seen at stations close to the future Disneyland park.


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