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Subway riders get room to breathe
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Commuters in Shanghai can look forward to more frequent trains and longer operating hours on the subway from the end of the year, the city's metro operators said yesterday.

Huang Gang, an official with the Shanghai Metro Company, said 70 trains with 464 carriages will be added to the network by the end of the year. The system currently comprises eight lines running 112 trains and 682 carriages.

The extra trains will boost capacity by about 60 percent, and passengers can also benefit from reduced waiting times and longer operating hours, the municipal public transportation bureau said, without elaborating.

In the first five months of this year, 3.09 million people used the Shanghai metro system every day, 40 percent more than over the same period of last year, the bureau said.

The increase is due mostly to the addition of 94 km of new track, which opened in December, it said.

About 25 percent of all metro journeys are made during the peak hours of 7 am to 9 am and 5 pm to 7 pm, Huang said.

The new trains and longer service hours should help attract people back to the metro who stopped using it due to overcrowding, he said.

Surveys have shown that people want to use the service, but are tired of not being able to get on, especially during the rush hours, he said.

(China Daily June 26, 2008)


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