Accessibility of Public Transportation

Andy asked:

ACCESS and availability of taxis at to two Shanghai metro stations; Jin’An Temple and Zhonshan Park

On Thursday 22nd March 2007 I will be arriving at Pudong Airport about 16.00 and then go Maglev to Long Yang metro station. I will have with me a suitcase on wheels as well as a small back pack. I plan to go from Long Yang metro to either Jin’An Temple or Zhongshan Park station.

These are my questions:

[1] Do either of these metro stations have elevators or escalators?

[2] Which of these two stations will it be easier to pick up a taxi from at at 17.30 on a Thursday evening?



Accessibility is a problem for Shanghai. It is not as accessible as it should be. There are some facilities in newer buildings, and public facilities, but many of them do not work, just because there are too few people using it. It is a social environment – accessible facility is not common, so disabled people normally do not go out on their own – they just stay home if there is not anything urgent or important enough. That explains why we seldom see people wit wheelchair in the city, but I don’t believe the percentage of disabled person is significantly lower than other city in other country. So it is a negative feedback loop – with fewer people using the facility, they do not operate well, thus fewer people use them.

So back to your question, there are elevator in Pudong Airport. I am sure about it. It is at the arrival hall, and you can use it to go to the second floor (where the Maglev Station is). There is also elevator in the Maglev Station. You don’t need to worry about it. (The elevator I mentioned means the vertical elevator, not the rolling one)

In Jin’An Temple, there are also vertical elevators. But I am not sure if it is open. I don’t remember there are elevators in the Zhong Shan Park. Anyone is living in that area, would you please help?

To take a taxi, it is same for any metro station. I would suggest Jin’an Temple, since Zhong Shan Park is a bigger station, which is not so good to find a taxi (too many people there).

15 thoughts on “Accessibility of Public Transportation

  1. Jiangsu Road (between Jingan Temple + Zhongshan Park on line 2) is pretty good for getting a taxi during rush hour as its a much quieter station than the two stations either side of it.

  2. Matt, I agree. If Jiangsu Road is an option, it is even better. In my point of view, smaller station with big road nearby is the best place to get a taxi. However, for me, the difference is not really a big deal. It is almost the same everywhere to get taxi.

  3. to get to the elevator in Zhongshan I think you have to go inside the mall (cloud nine) and somewhere down there there is an elevator that works. For taxis usually the exit 7 at Zhongshan is a very good option.

  4. jianshuo, you are right about the lack of facilities for the disabled, but they don’t work because they aren’t enough or aren’t well thought out. While things are improving now, in the past the disabled were an after thought (if they were thought of at all), so there is total or very limited access to public transport and many buildings. I think the percentage of disabled people is equal or greater in China, but like you said, for the majority of people who aren’t very daring or independent, they typically just stay inside all the time.

  5. The access is a major issue for people with disabilities to enjoy their equal rights. No matter what the law ensures for a person with disability – be it educational or employment guarantees or visit to local shopping complex or going over to attend meetings/conferences. Acess is ability and the very basis of all the rights. Your blog is a good site for users to interact.

    In India, we have launched a portal which provides a discussion forum and also a City Access Guide that tells you about the places that are accessible for people with reduced mobility in New Delhi. You too could host a directory of this kind for Shanghai city on you site which could provide people with disabilities an opportunity to make informed choice. We are an NGO promoting “Accessibility for all’.

    with kind regards,

    SC Vashishth, Programme Coordinator, Svayam-centre for inclusive environments, New Delhi, India, email:, +91-11-9811125521, +91-11-41462323 (Voice phones)

  6. I am a quadriplegic planning a trip to Shanghai in late September 2007. Does anyone know if the city has wheelchair accessible taxis?

  7. Firstly – I just wanted to say, thanks so much for taking the time to document all these important details for international travellers, Jian Shuo Wang! I am going to Shanghai from Australia for the Special Olympics (October 2-11) and I leave in two days – I just realised I didn’t know what the weather will be like, whether I can use my mobile (cell phone) to call home to Australia, how I’ll get from the airport or where I’ll go when I’m not watching the Special Olympics events. Your site is fantastic, and it has been a great help.

    Secondly, I’ve been warned that there is a week-long holiday in Shanghai from October 1, and that the entire city shuts down. Is that true? Do taxis charge a special holiday fare/surcharge?

    Also, I’m a strict vegetarian, and I only speak English. What’s the best way to explain “vegetarian” (meaning, I don’t eat any meat, seafood or eggs) to local resturants?

  8. @Sash,

    It is national holiday from Oct 1 to Oct 7. The city does not shuts down. On the contrary, it is the busiest time for the city, since people from around the country and the world are coming to Shanghai. It is not good for traveler, since there are too many people here. Taxis don’t change any special rate – still 11 RMB for first 3 KM, and 2 RMB for every additional km.

    Vegetarian is called Su Shi in China. There are not too many vegetarian restaurants in Shanghai. I only know one:

    Maybe what you can do is to print out this image:, and show the two big red character to your waiter. It says Vegetarian.

  9. Thanks so much for your fast and very helpful reply!

    Unfortunately the image link does not work but I will try again later from another computer.

    Thank you again!

  10. I curious about your career,are you a professor in some university??? are you chinese ???

    I found you when I ‘m googling transportation to do my task form my teacher .

  11. @John

    AFAIK, the taxis in Shanghai are not specifically wheelchair accessible.

    When I was in Hangzhou with a guy who uses a wheelchair, we moved him in his wheelchair to the taxi door and he slid into the seat of the taxi. Then we folded up his wheelchair and put it in the boot of the taxi (it was a little too large so the lid of the boot had to be held down with a kind of elastic string).

    Some taxis in Shanghai have an LPG tank in the boot and therefore the boot is pretty small (probably too small for a wheelchair).

    I think you’d definitely need help from an able-bodied friend travelling with you in order to use taxis.

    Regarding accessibility of subway stations, I believe each subway station has an elevator for disabled people only which goes down as far as the platform. Subway staff will let disabled people into the elevator. At ground level you need to press a bell next to the elevator door to get the attention of subway staff and it may take a while for someone to respond (since few people use the elevators). I think you would be able to use the subway, especially if you had a Chinese-speaking able-bodied helper with you.

    I think it would be very difficult for you to use the buses. People would probably have to lift you up the step into the bus, plus buses are often very crowded. Buses don’t have any provision for the disabled.

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