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August 8, 2013

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Metro rides get cooler, elevated line stations to provide AC zones

Following complaints from passengers, the Shanghai Metro operator said it had lowered the temperatures of air-conditioning in subway trains, especially on its elevated lines.

The Metro’s operator, Shanghai Shentong Metro Group, said usually the temperatures on the subways are fixed between 24 to 26 degrees Celsius.

It will be adjusted by one or two degrees, said Lan Tian, a Metro official who works at the  operation center.

Passengers complained that despite air-conditioning, they would sweat in overcrowded carriages and even felt sick.

“I sweat from the start till the end of my journey,” said one passenger, surnamed Wang, a regular on Line 6.

Lan said cooling on the elevated track was more of a problem than other lines as they are exposed to direct sunshine.

The temperatures on the elevated lines like 3, 4, and 6 will see a bigger adjustment as the trains stop on stations which are not enclosed.

Shentong said the air-conditioning on some carriages on Line 1, the city’s oldest subway in service, broke down but were repaired soon.

“Daily maintenance work on air-conditioning is guaranteed,” said Lan, adding that they were  also against using cooling sprayers at the elevated station because of safety fears.

The devices are a common sight at tourist sites and transport hubs like Hongqiao Transport Hub and the Bund. They have been tried out on one station on Metro Line 1, but there are no plans to use them elsewhere because they block the view of oncoming trains and the surveillance cameras.

Officials said they also feared that “a large gathering of passengers under the sprayers can pose dangers,” especially as the elevated platforms are not wide enough.

They said they had decided to drop the plan to introduce the mist sprayers at elevated stops after their trial on Hulan Road Station on Line 1 proved unsuccessful.

Large fans and rooms equipped with air-conditioning are being added at the elevated stations, mainly along Lines 1, 3 and 4. About 10 stations on Line 3 already have air-conditioned rooms. But the stations are packed with passengers during rush hours with no chance of putting up extra rooms.

The authorities said that emergency medicines for heat-related problems are also available at the Metro stations.



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