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April 22, 2013

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Road congestion puts a stop to shuttle service

A NEW shuttle bus route meant to relieve crowding on part of Metro Line 3 during the morning rush hour was canceled over the weekend after it got light use because it became bogged down in road traffic, Metro operators said.

The shuttle buses that began operation on April 12, running from the Jiangwan Town station to Hongkou Football Stadium station from 7:15am to 8:15am, attracted only about five riders each. The buses could hold up to 90 passengers each.

It took as long as 36 minutes to travel past three Metro stations, or about 5 kilometers, because of traffic jams. Most Metro riders stayed with the more crowded but faster subway.

The bus line ran every 10 minutes nonstop, but ended up as the shortest-lived Metro shuttle line.

"The bus line was canceled because it had too few passengers, so it couldn't relieve the huge passenger flow on Metro Line 3," an official with the operator said.

The buses could have transported about 600 people in an hour, but only 30 or so passengers took the buses every day, said Yin Xiaoding, a manager with the subway operator.

The fare was 2 yuan (32 US cents), and riders who used their transit card to reach Jiangwan Town on the Metro would pay only half that. The bus company couldn't cut the fare any more to try to attract more passengers, officials said.

Rider restrictions have been placed on eight stations on Line 3, from Baoshan Road to Changjiang Road S., with more expected to be included, officials said. Some turnstiles are closed and barriers set up outside the busiest stations during rush hour to control passenger flows.

Passenger volume along the line's northern section has risen by up to 20 percent during peak hours compared with volumes before the Spring Festival holiday.

The Metro operator has apologized and asked for understanding since the trains "have reached full capacity" and there are few quick ways to fix it.


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