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City Planning New Efforts for Better Public Transportation
Shanghai wants to get more of its citizens out of taxis and private cars and into buses and subways and laid out its plans to do so Sunday.

The city expects the plans for subway, bus and parking improvements will substantially improve public transportation efficiency and safety by 2005, Shanghai Morning News has reported.

The projects include further reducing intervals between subway trains, installing safety barriers in some subway stations,and opening more large-scale bus centers and parking lots, the Shanghai Transportation Administration Bureau announced Sunday.

The Transportation Bureau also wants to expand bus lines connecting residences and subways. The city will ensure that all residential quarters will be connected with subway stations by single bus lines without transfer.

The city's goal is to have four out of 10 Shanghai travelers (40 percent) using the subway system by 2005. Now only one in 25(just four percent) are off the congested streets and on the subway trains.

To encourage commuters to leave their cars off the busiest city streets, large parking lots charging less than those downtown will be opened along the city's Outer-Ring Road.

By 2005, the number of ground passengers and that of underground will show a ratio of 2.5 to 1, compared with 25 to 1 now.

Subway trains will run for an hour longer every day. Intervals between Pearl Line trains will be reduced from around 10 minutes now to between five and six minutes.

Train intervals for Metro Line 1 will be cut from about five minutes to between two and three minutes and for Metro Line 2 from seven minutes to four minutes.

Safety will be improved as well. Electronic walls to prevent passengers from falling on the rails will be installed on some subway platforms on a trial basis, officials said.

Most of those riding Shanghai buses to the subway or elsewhere will also be more comfortable. The city will renew some 2,000 buses annually and 60 percent of downtown buses will be air-conditioned buses.

Large-scale long-distance bus centers will be opened in the South Shanghai Railway Station and in Pudong.

(eastday.com March 4, 2002)

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