The simple fact of the matter is that the subway provides the best, most convenient means of navigating Shanghai. China's huge investment in public transportation networks is one of China's environmental success stories, and it deserves immense praise for its efforts.
Geotechnical construction work is underway in Shanghai in a project that will extend the city's Metro network.
Those in construction jobs are building extra tunnel supports, while a surveillance camera system has been installed to monitor any subsidence during the construction phase, ShanghaiDaily.com reports.
Speaking to the website, tunnel expert Liu Jianhang said that the geotechnical work was challenging because the underground network had been built gradually, with the city's geology being "very complex".
"The task of digging a Metro tunnel is like punching a hole in a piece of tofu since the earth here is relatively loose," he commented.
Officials from the city's Metro said that the tunnels are checked twice a year, while they have overseen approximately 200 safety programmes.
The city is keen to extend its underground network, with five new lines and 116 new stations currently under construction.
There are currently eight lines with 170 stations, with the system having opened in 1995.
The Shanghai stations have neither the grandeur of the Moscow system nor the decrepit charms of London stops, but they are functional and generally clean. They are also easy for foreigners to navigate in a way that the Gare du Nord, for instance, is not . There are still a few glitches, but for a system that has expanded so rapidly, those are to be expected, and will probably be worked out in time.
Shanghai Daily reports today that by May 2010 “it will be possible to take a Metro between Shanghai's two airports as Line 2's eastern extension will reach all the way to Pudong International Airport.” Eventually the Hongqiao Integrated Transport Hub will feature, in addition to the Hongqiao Airport, the Shanghai-Beijing and Shanghai-Nanjing express rail lines, Metros, transit and long-distance buses, and Metro lines 2, 5, 10, 17 and a Qingpu Metro route.
There are a number of really wonderful sites to make your introduction to the system as painless as possible. In 2020 the system will be absolutely stupendous, although perhaps not quite this stupendous.