Whether you are getting ready for a tripor planning to move to China, transportationcan represent a challenge for you, especially in the larger cities. The last thing you want to do is arrive in China without a clue about how to get around. The fastest method of learning anything in China is to watch and learn. Do as the Chinese do. How do they get around the city?
Five primary modes of transportation exist in the big cities, particularly in Shanghai. These methods include transit, taxi service, bicycles and motorbikes, car rental services, and their newest one, the high-speed railway.
The Metro train system in Shanghai is one of the cheapest methods to get around the city. With 11 different, color-coded trainlines, it will not take you long to figure out which one you need to be on to get to where you want to go. They have a massive system that opens up the entire city to you.
Train fares fall under the jurisdiction of the Metro system. When you purchase a train ticket, you need to know what your destination is because that is how the fareis based. The further you go, the more you’ll be charged. Your Metro gets scanned upon entering and exiting a train station.This method may very well be the only system you use during your visit if you travel during the day. The Metro closes business for its train system between 10:00PM – 11:00PM, so make sure you are safe and sound before then. Otherwise, you might need to utilize one of these other methods.
Buses are not in English; make sure you brush up on you Chinese before you hop on a bus. Shanghai is a gargantuan of a city, and they have a bus system to match. Shanghai’s bus system spans over 1,000 bus lines from downtown to just beyond the city limits. Bus fares go between one and two RMB. They accept loose change as well as your public transportation card. If you do not have far to go, this might save you time over the train.
The streets of Shanghai run rampant with taxis. Unlike American cities, where you need pay in full at the end of the ride, the taxis in Shanghai are part of the city’s public transportation system. While you may pay cash, most people tap their Public Transportation Card. Bear in mind that taxis are more expensive than buses or trains, but they offer a curbside convenience other methods do not. Flag down a cab when their green light on the roof of the vehicle is on, indicating its vacancy.
Despite a number of private luxury vehicles you see on the streets, China is still a developing country. What cheaper transportation method is there than the classic bicycle? Whether you choose a motorbike or a classic pedal bike, this method is the most affordable and most immersive way to experience China.
The most expensive way to get around Shanghai, but by far the most convenient is to rent a car. You will need a Chinese driver’s license. It is easy to convert a foreign license to a six-year Chinese license by completing a written test and paying a nominal fee. The other private car service is by hiring out. You can get a personal car and driver who speaks Chinese by booking them at limousine shops. This option will run you a few thousand RMB per month. If it is not in your budget, use public transportation.
The last way to really get around is by High-Speed Train. This method is suitable for interstate traveling when your destination lies in another city. They travel at 200km/hr. or 124mph. You will need your passport or Chinese ID card to purchase a ticket.