Shanghai may be connected to neighboring cities in the Yangtze River delta by a rail system, according to a plan now under consideration by traffic officials.
Lu Ximing, president of the Institute of Shanghai City Transport Research, said the planned rail transport will cover areas within 150 to 200 kilometers of Shanghai.
Suzhou, a famous tourist resort some 100 kilometers west of Shanghai, is likely to be the first city connected to the rail transport system, said Zhu Husheng, board chair of Shanghai Subway Construction Co Ltd.
The overall construction plan has three focuses, namely the downtown, urban area and the Yangtze River delta. According to the plan, Shanghai will build rail transport networks in the downtown capable of handling 10 million passengers a day.
Shanghai now spends approximately 170 billion yuan (US$20.5 billion), that's 5 percent of its GDP, on transport construction every year. That includes 100 billion yuan (US$12 billion) on rail traffic.
It plans to have 510 kilometers of rail lines by 2010, which is roughly eight times the current 65 kilometers.
(China Daily May 20, 2004)