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Tourist Bus Revs up Schedule
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Tourism planners in Shanghai's downtown Luwan District will improve a free sightseeing bus service along Huaihai Road from October 7.

The red buses will then run every 20 minutes and have their own bus stops.

At the moment, the buses share normal bus stops, but attract few passengers. Currently they run about every 40 minutes, with only five buses serving the route.

The route connects sites of historic significance, such as Fuxing Park, Xintiandi and Dr Sun Yat-sen's former residence.

A Shanghai Daily reporter spent 40 minutes yesterday near the crossing of Huaihai and Shaanxi roads waiting for the free sightseeing bus, which had only a few passengers on board.

But judging by the looks from people waiting at the bus stop, no one understood the purpose of the bus and where it could take them.

Jiang Peixun, secretary of the city's transit traffic association, said lack of knowledge by passengers about the identity of the sightseeing buses could be a major cause of the low passenger numbers.

Besides, the long waiting periods between buses also test the patience of would-be passengers.

To make the free service not only more friendly but also more useful to tourists and commuters, the Luwan District Tourism Administrative Bureau said it will set up special bus stops with signs saying that the sightseeing buses depart every 20 minutes.

According to the plan, the improved bus operation will start on October 7, coinciding with the closing ceremony of the 2007 Shanghai Shopping Festival.

(Shanghai Daily September 7, 2007)

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