There are the following options for a visitor to get around in Shanghai.
Public Transportation Card
If you stay in Shanghai for more than one week, I suggest you to buy a public transportation card immediately after you arrive in Shanghai. It is a nice light-blue IC card that stores money value. It can be used in most public transportation vehicles:
You can buy one at any Metro Station ticket counter. You can deposit as much money as you want (upper limit is 999 RMB), and there will be a 30 RMB card cost, which is refundable after you return the card to the dealer.
Typically, 100 RMB card is a good choice.
I am very happy about the little plastic card. I always bring it with me and feel very cool when I swipe the card on the ticket checking system. This is one of the reasons I think Shanghai is very andvanced in the hardware public infrustructure. Well, I didn’t say software is also good – the people working in the metro need to improve their service level. At least, put some smile on their face. Last time, when CCTV reporter interviewed Shanghai Mayor Chen Liang Yu, he said, many Shanghainese have 3 cards – the national ID card, the public transportation card and the social medicial insurance card (the card I can swipe in the hospital’s cash counter so I don’t need to pay for medical services).
There are basically two types of buses – urban buses and longer-distance buses. Most urban buses charges 1 RMB or 2 RMB (those with AirCon) no matter how many stops you take. For longer-distance buses – those buses connecting to counties, it charges higher (1 RMB to 6 RMB). The most expensive buses are the Airport Shuttle Bus.
Taxis charges 10 RMB as base fee and 2 RMB per more km. Check this article for detailed calculation: Shanghai Taxi Tickets
Metro is the most convenience public transportation. It costs 2 RMB at minimum and up to 6 RMB for Metro Line #1 and Line #2. There are line #3 and #5 too. Here is the Shanghai Metro Map and Timetable.
jt.sh.cn (Chinese site) is the official government website for public transportation.