Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Transportation in Shanghai

At the end of show this weekend, the emcee from Jamaica admonished the audience to “drive safely”. It was a generous thought, but not terribly relevant. There would be but a small percentage of the audience leaving in private vehicles, and a small group of those who drove the car themselves (as opposed to having a driver).

So how did they get home?

8 Days – a weekly magazine – published some statistics for transportation options in Shanghai as of 2005. In a city of something more than 18 million people, there are a staggering 7.8 million people taking buses every day. And for those that are traveling more standard routes and with to avoid the street level chaos, there are 2.5 to 3 million riders in the subway system daily. There are 1.2 million brave souls desiring more flexibility in their transportation who have a registered scooter. And for those private cars, the 2005 estimate was only a meager 0.3 million vehicles.

Hailing from the “first” state of Delaware, we can only be continually amazed at the scale – there are three times as many people in the subway system in Shanghai than in all of the state of Delaware!

What comes to your mind when you think about 2.5 to 3 million subway riders a day? Post your comments.


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