Public Transportation in Shanghai

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:

  • Taxi
  • Buses
  • Ferry
  • Metro
  • Light-Rail

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).

Buses

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.

Taxi

Taxis charges 10 RMB as base fee and 2 RMB per more km. Check this article for detailed calculation: Shanghai Taxi Tickets

Metro

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.

Website

jt.sh.cn (Chinese site) is the official government website for public transportation.

22 Comments

  1. This is really useful information and succinctly put. It will be useful when we arrive in Shanghai next Easter for our holiday!

    Do all the ferries accept bicycles?

    Have you stopped cycling?

    We are brining our bikes from the UK and cycling around for 3 weeks – given some of your entries on Shanghai traffic I think my wife Maggie and I will miss Shanhai on the way out (unfortunately we arrive at Pudong so that is a challenge!) and use the public transport on our stay at the end of the holiday.

  2. The new line #5 from XinZhuang to Minhang is operating now.

    In the trains and the stations there are NO advertisements for this line, only on XinZhuang Station.

    If you’re using the SPTCC card, you’ll have to “check out” from line #1 and “check in” on line #5 if you change XinZhuang Station.

    Reason unknown.

  3. Hi Jian Shuo,

    I do agree with that the servicse in subway should be improved more and people working there have to be kind and don’t annoy the customers (passengers).

    One correction on the vocabulary, “Shanghai Mayor” instead of “Shanghai Major”.

  4. One tip when swiping your way through the subway turnisle, make sure the person in front of you is through before you put your card on the sensor. Many people have inadverdantly paid for the person in front of them when they put the card on the sensor too early.

  5. that’s it…I did have such an experience before.

  6. Hi,

    This public transportation information for Shanghai is very helpful. How much does a single expat living in Shanghai usually spend on train rides per month, using the SPTCC card?

    thank you!

  7. Ehh, if you go 1 station it’s cheaper that 36, so from where to where ??

  8. A good map of the metro lines : http://www.urbanrail.net/as/shan/shanghai.htm

    (Thanks to Robert Schwandl)

  9. Hey I am just wondering if there is a ferry that I could take from Shanghai to Taiwan. I have a friend in Taipei I would like to go see. Also, how long of a ferry ride is it and how much would it cost? I am having a hard time finding info. on ferry’s on the internet. Thanks,

    -Katie :)

  10. Katie, there is no flight, no ferry, no train, no bus, no any kind of vehicle that is available for general public. The policitical situtation between the strait does not allow direct connection. You can transit at Hong Kong if you want to fly from Shanghai to Taibei.

  11. Hi,

    Could anyone tell me how much is the cost off ferry from Hong Kong to Taiwan.

    I am planning to visit China,Hong kong and Taiwan soon and want to have some information about transportation before I get there.

    Please e-mail me if you have any news for me.

    Thank you very much in advance.

    Tony

  12. Hi,

    Could anyone tell me how much is the cost off ferry from Hong Kong to Taiwan.

    I am planning to visit China,Hong kong and Taiwan soon and want to have some information about transportation before I get there.

    Please e-mail me if you have any news for me.

    Thank you very much in advance.

    Tony

  13. could u plz tell me how much it is to fly to shanghai from adelaide

    thank you

    Bec

  14. hi,

    could you please tell me how much it is to fly to Suzhou from adelaide

    Thank you

    Courtney

  15. does anyone know how many people catch public transport each day

  16. hi i am wanting to find out if there is a ferry from hong kong to taiwan? it is difficult to find this info, so if anyone out there knows it would be great. thankyou

    tiff

  17. compact dvr for bicycle and taxi to record the road 100m ahead seen

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    contact http://www.ubtechno.co.kr

  19. i am travelling by train from fuzhou to shanghai and arriving about 4am, does anyone know what time the metro starts running, i here it stops about 10.30 pm?

  20. Please advice what is the mode of transportation I can take as follows:-

    1. Shanghai – Suzhou

    2. Shanghai – Hangzhou

    3. Suzhou – Hangzhou

  21. @Lycia, all by train is the best choice.

  22. please can someone give me the price of the ferry from HONHKONG to TAIPEI .THANKS

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