Have you been feeling increasingly claustrophobic when you walk through People’s Square? Tired of waiting on long lines just to cram your way onto a train? Does your daily commute make you feel like you’re in a bad infomercial about overpopulation? Well, you’re not alone: over five million people use Shanghai’s transportation system every day, and they probably feel the same way you do.
Granted, Shanghai’s transportation system is pretty good: The trains are fast and efficient, the subway system is always expanding, and the frequency of trains is better than in most cities worldwide. But within the past year, over a million new passengers have popped up, a stunning 20% increase in usage. We guess it’s a testament to China’s incredible economic recovery, but even so, we can’t imagine how you can possibly account for an extra million people a day over the course of just one year.
And of course, there’s the question of the Expo: with an expected 70 million visitors over the duration of the expo, Shangahai’s overcrowded transportation systems will see yet another gargantuan surge. Officials are going to set up a number of institutions to help facilitate the extra passengers and keep things running smoothly, but with an estimated peak of 10 million riders a day it seems impossible to control. Then again, it’s a challenge: if the Shanghai subway system can handle the excesses of the Expo, then it might just be the best metro in the world.