Shanghai Metro (上海轨道交通)

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The Shanghai Metro is the world’s longest city metro network and serves much of Shanghai, as well as a few stations in neighbouring Kunshan, Jiangsu province.

Jump to: Lines / History

Fares: Minimum fare ¥ 3.—; distance-based fare system with current maximum fare of ¥ 14.—.
This system supports the Shanghai Public Transport Card, which offers a discount of 10% after an aggregated spend of ¥ 70.— per calendar month (counted from the 1st of the month).

City transit cards from Wuxi and Kunshan, as other networked cards, can be used, but they cannot have valued added in Shanghai, nor are they eligible for discounts.


Current lines in service:

  • Line 1: Xinzhuang – Shanghai Railway Station – Fujin Road
  • Line 2: East Xujing (Xujing East) – Songhong Road – Guanglan Road – Tangzhen – Shanghai Pudong International Airport
  • Line 3: North Jiangyang Road (Jiangyang N Rd) – South Changjiang Road (Changjiang S Rd) – Shanghai South (Shanghainan) Railway Station
  • Line 4: City loop via Yishan Road, Shanghai Railway Station, and Century Avenue
  • Line 5: Minhang Development Area – Xinzhuang
  • Line 6: Gangcheng Road – Oriental Sports Centre
  • Line 7: Meilan Lake – Qihua Road – Huamu Road
  • Line 8: Shiguang Road – Middle Yanji Road – Oriental Sports Centre – Shendu Highway
  • Line 9: Songjiang South (Songjiangnan) Railway Station – Sheshan – Middle Yanggao Road (Yanggao M Rd)
  • Line 10: Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station – Xinjiangwancheng plus branch to Hangzhong Road
  • Line 11: North Jiading (Jiading North) – Disney Resort / Huaqiao – Sanlin
  • Line 12: Qixin Road – Hongmei Road – Jufeng Road – Jinhai Road
  • Line 13: Jinyun Road – Shibo (World Expo) Avenue
  • Line 16: Longyang Road – Dishui Lake


The world’s longest city metro network shows no sign of slowing down growth, and new extensions all the way up to a Line 21 are being considered, with future lines going up to Line 24. Eventually, however, it will be taken by systems in Beijing and Wuhan when it comes to track length.

An exciting development, however, is Shanghai’s metro system connecting with other systems in nearby cities. They could form an alternative “slow train” service which would co-exist with conventional national rail services and the national HSR network.

Note that the Maglev is regarded as part of the national railway network and is hence not counted here.

  • Line 5: Dongchuan Road – Nanqiao Xincheng
  • Line 8: Shendu Highway – Huizhen Road
    Due to limited ridership, this part is likely to be realised as a low-to-medium capacity APM system.
  • Line 9: Middle Yanggao Road (Yanggao Middle Road) – Caolu
  • Line 10: Xinjiangwancheng – Jilung (Keelung) Road
  • Line 11: Luoshan Road – Shanghai Disney Resort and Chenxiang Road
  • Line 12: Qixin Road – Qufu Road
  • Line 13: Changshou Road – Shibo (Expo) Avenue – Changqing Road – Middle Huaxia Road (Huaxia M Rd) – Zhangjiang Road
  • Line 14: Fengbang – Guiqiao Road
  • Line 15: Gucun Park – Zizhu Hi-Tech Area
  • Line 17: Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station – Oriental Oasis (Dongfang Lüzhou)
  • Line 18: South Changjiang Road (Changjiang S Rd) – Hangtou
  • Line 19: Rongqiao Road – Chenjiazhen
  • Line 20: Xinzhuang – Gongqing Forest Park
  • Line 21: Hongkou Football Stadium – Wujing


The city of Shanghai had been planning for an equivalent city metro network already since 1945. Immediately after World War II ended, the Nationalist Government, then in power over China, was planning for a network which, according to the 1947 plans, consisted of 6 lines. These plans were wiped out when the Communists took over control over the city in May 1949, but the idea of building a metro system survived.

Interest in such a system was revived in 1950, in the early years of the Cold War. As with other system built during this era, both in the interest of mass transit and prevention from warfare. Different plans were being discussed, but already, People’s Square was seen as a centre of metro activity. What later resulted ultimately became a five-line plan, dated from 1958.

In the 1958 lines, all key parts of the city would be linked up — including key transport hubs. Already then, a north-south Line 1 extending into the northern suburbs was planned, along with a Line 2 running west-east through the city centre. Interestingly, Line 2 would only “touch down” at one Pudong station (Lujiazui) before jumping back to the other side of the Huangpu River. Line 3 in the 1958 plans appeared more to be an amalgamation of today’s Lines 11 and 13, whilst Line 4 was more the northern part of Line 10 from People’s Square onwards. The city would have a loop line as well — Line 5 here, instead of the present-day Line 4 — but it would be exclusively within Puxi, with only a branch serving one or two stops east of the Huangpu River. This network would be 113.4 km (nearly 71 miles) in length — around a fifth of today’s 548 km (342 ½ mile) network.

Indeed, there is one minuscule element of the 1950s network still in existence today — Caobao Road station on Line 1 will strike many as being remarkably small. The Line 1 part of the station does not have a through concourse, this being “credited” to the 1950s design.

Real plans to build the present-day network only got underway in the 1980s. The first plans from this era saw a 7-line network over 176 km (110 miles), with three lines converging at People’s Square. The ring line, which would eventually become Line 4, was also part of the plans. Following approval from Beijing, works got underway in earnest in 1990. On 28 May 1993, the first stretch between New Longhua (now not far from today’s Shanghai South Railway Station) to Xujiahui opened. Line 1 would then be extended, first on 10 April 1995 from Jinjiang Park through to Shanghai Railway Station via People’s Square, then in late 1996 from Jinjiang Park to Xinhuang. The northernmost terminus of Line 1 would be extended further north, first to Gongfu Xincun by late 2004, then to Fujin Road by late 2007.

Line 2 initially operated upon its opening on 20 September 1999 from Zhongshan Park through to Longyang Road. This line would see extensions in 2000 to Zhangjiang High Technology Park (which was first an above-ground station, but is now underground), then in late 2006 through to Songhong Road. The extensions in early 2010 saw it now running between East Xujing (Xujing East) through to Shanghai Pudong International Airport, although for the moment, passengers must change trains at Guanglan Road.

Line 3, known in particular at the start as the Pearl Metro, first opened from Shanghai South station through to Jiangwan Town in late 2000, then saw a late 2006 extension to North Jiangyang Road (JIangyang North Road). The loop line, LIne 4, was supposed to open in full in late 2005, but an accident by Tangqiao delayed the part from Lancun Road via Tangqiao to Damuqiao Road until late 2007.

Lines 5 and 6 were designed to carry less people, and opened in late 2003 and late 2007, respectively. Line 6 saw a huge amount of patronage, so it had to add more trains. The final part of Line 6 to open, an extension to what is now the Oriental Sports Centre, opened in spring 2011.

In time for the Shanghai 2010 World Expo, a great number of new lines were being readied and the openings in late 2007 and in particular early 2010 saw the network grow by leaps and bounds, often within a short period of time, and in some cases, within a day. Line 7 opened in late 2009; Line 8 was added in late 2007 (and extended in summer 2009); Line 9 was first opened in late 2007 (and got extended in 2009, 2010, and 2012); Line 10 was a late 2010 addition (first skipping the Hongqiao hub before it opened in late 2010); and Line 11 opened, quite literally, on the last day of 2009 (it has seen extensions then in early 2010, and a much more visible on in 2013). Line 11 extended into neighbouring Kunshan, in the province of Jiangsu, on 16 October 2013. Line 13, first better known as the Expo Line, opened for the World Expo between Madang Road and Shibo (Expo) Avenue before being taken out of service for improvements and extensions; it re-enterd service as of late 2012.

Two post-Expo lines soon were added to the metro fabric. Line 12 was first opened in late 2013 (before being extended in 2014), and Line 16, taking riders to Dishui Lake, opened in late 2013, with an extension to Longyang Road opening in late 2014.

The future of the network will see even more lines, although it appears likely the length of the network will be eclipsed by the systems of Beijing and Wuhan. For late 2015, a part of Line 11 to Shanghai Disney Resort is getting ready to enter service, as are extensions to Lines 12 and 13.

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