Shanghai Metro Line I, which runs between the city's north and south, was closed for half an hour during rush hour yesterday morning, bringing a traffic nightmare to tens of thousands of office workers.
The subway was shut between 7:15 am to 7:45 am because a train broke down at South Shaanxi Road in the middle of the metro line, according to the Shanghai Subway General Company.
The metro company said it was one of the most serious problems with Shanghai's metro network in recent years.
An official on duty with the company, who declined to be named, said the metro network was "in trouble" for nearly two hours even after the broken-down train had been removed.
Between 8 am and 10 am yesterday, the interval between underground trains was up to 10 and 20 minutes, compared with the usual interval of 4 or 5 minutes, according to the official.
He said the incident was the result of mechanical problems with the train.
Sources with the city's transportation authority said that more than a dozen extra buses were put on yesterday morning to help delayed passengers.
A huge number of office workers commuting from the southwestern suburbs to the city center had to wait for one or two hours to take the metro to work yesterday morning.
More than 1,000 passengers waited in line to enter the southwestern Jinjiang Park metro station at around 8:30 am. Temperatures of more than 30°C made their wait even more difficult.
Shen Yang, a passenger traveling from Jinjiang Park to the city center, told China Daily that tickets were available after 8:30 am but it still took him more than half an hour to get a train.
(China Daily July 16, 2002)