Long Taxi Lines in Hongqiao T2 Too

The biggest hope for Hongqiao Airport T2 was to solve the long taxi line in Hongqiao Airport T1. I complained about it many times.

Now the 4-times bigger T2 opens. My guess was, it will solve this problem. To my disappointment, the problem is still there – not as serious, but there are still many people waiting in long lines for taxi, and there are even longer lines of taxi waiting inn the parking lot. The only bottleneck is, again, the taxi pickup area – the design of this brand new airport is still far from efficient.

Look at this picture: Long lines of passengers.

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

In the picture below: long lines of taxis. Pay attention to the taxi lines on the upper right corner of the picture.

© Jian Shuo Wang

My Question

My question, when can this society leverage the knowledge in planning to help to make people’s life easier? Can students in universities, and even the professors really spend some time to dig into details and solve this simple problem? Is there any more effective way to handle this? In an airport with billions of dollars of investment, why just some parking lots can block people and waste their precious time in queuing for taxis, from morning to night, 365 days a year, and for years?

12 thoughts on “Long Taxi Lines in Hongqiao T2 Too

  1. I find the Hongqiao T1 and T2 design as it is one queue with one exit to the taxis.

    I find the most efficient design to be that at Lo Wu station in Shenzhen

    with 4 queues and 4 exits points with two rows of taxis so that in peak times

    8 people can get a taxi at the same time.

    I hope that more people will start to use the new Hongqiao Airport transport hub to get to the city.

  2. I was at Hongqiao T2 last week, and I have to say my reaction was different – yes, there were still many people and many taxis, but the wait was 10 minutes (which I consider acceptable) rather than 20 or 40. I thought it was much better.

    But maybe you’re right – it’s the same system as in T1, just with more pickup lanes. Why can’t we find a better system? And why don’t we see this problem in other airports? Maybe it’s just the volume – I’m not aware of any other airport, in China or elsewhere, with so many people looking for taxis. But maybe there is an elegant solution that nobody has thought of.

  3. @ddjiii, you are right – it is only 10 minutes, much better than 40 or more in the old T1. But the problem is, the bottleneck is not there are not enough passengers – there are plenty of them waiting there, and it is not lack of taxi – the taxi queue is 50 times longer than the passenger queue, few miles and in many parking lots. The bottle neck is the management. Why they don’t allow free flow of passenger and taxis? Why they believe every passengers should be told explicitly which taxi to take (there are rumor that there are interest chain here for the dispatcher, but I would rather imagine that this is not true). If they extend the whole airport arrival area as pick up area, that is at least 20 times more than the current slots, and you can always find 10 empty taxi waiting for you to randomly pick. No queue at all.

  4. To solve a problem, there has to be either incentive or presure to the stake holders. Just throw in money is not gona work. In this case, the designer, the builder, and the planner have neither incentive nor presure to make it better for the passengers and the taxi drivers unless their performance is measured by customer survey or there is passenger riot. As long as people continue to wait patiently inline, this problem will not be solved.

  5. @rwm, good point. With more and more people understand that metro line #2 is running, and with the opening of Metro Line #10, that can partly solve the problem. The key problem today is, it is the waste of resources – they have to build much larger taxi parking pool than a little improvement at the passenger pickup area. Some improvement can easily cut the line shorter.

  6. With the pressure to keep GDP growth above 8%, priority is probably given to getting things built as quick as possible. That’s why many new metro lines and high speed train lines don’t really make much sense.

  7. YES!

    It will definitely be the topic for annual meeting of people congress. The airport has been built with the money from tax paid by millions of local people, and why could it be good enough???

    This is a question!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. YES!

    It will definitely be the topic of annual meeting of people congress! However, the question is: who represents the common interests of millions of people!

  9. Along with the opening of T2, I believe there would be more passengers as well. I’m not sure if there are posted fixed charges based on zones for taxi fares like the ones in some U.S. airports. Many passengers have been cheated by taxi drivers by taking unnecessary detours. Unfortunately, this happens to many foreigners who don’t speak the language nor know their way around. I was asked a few times by cab drivers what route I wanted them to drive to my destination when my destinations were like Yu Garden, which all drivers should know. I think it was a test to see I knew my way around.


  10. Guys, hehehe I love this topic. Everytime i have to go back into town from Hongqiao airport i see hundreds of people lining up to wait for a taxi. Do you want to know how to get a taxi within 2 minutes anyway???

    Go back inside the terminal, walk up the stairs to the ‘depart level’ (in other words just the second floor) walk outside and get in any taxi that just dropped off people coming to the airport to catch their flight!

    So far Ive done it many times! Not sure if its ‘allowed’ or not, but it works every time. Taxi driver will be happy to do it also since he won’t have to queue up for the next 2 ours to get a passenger downstairs.

    Try it ! It works.

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