Shanghai World Expo 2010>Tourism
UPDATED: April 14, 2010 NO. 3 JANUARY 21, 2010
A Smooth Expo
Organizers released a traffic plan to alleviate transport headaches during the 2010 event

IMPROVING ACCESS: Shanghai's first two-deck bridge, the 4.15-km Minpu Bridge II, completed last November, will open for traffic before the 2010 World Expo (XINHUA)

Shanghai authorities on January 8 unveiled a detailed traffic management plan to deal with 2010 World Expo crowds, nearly four months ahead of the event's May 1 start.

More than 600,000 visitors on average are expected to swarm the Expo site every day during the half-year gala. Ninety percent of attendees will travel via public transit, urban and rural construction and transport commission officials told Shanghai Daily.

Shao Qiwei, head of the China National Tourism Administration, said event organizers hope to attract 70 million visitors, 5 percent of whom will be from foreign countries. More than 240 countries and international organizations have confirmed that they will take part in the Expo, making this year's celebration the largest in history.

Visitors will be able to reach the Expo, a 528-hectare campus along the Huangpu River in the Pudong and Puxi districts, within 90 minutes from Shanghai's farthest suburbs via buses and subways, the plan states.

Shanghai is China's most populated city. It is home to more than 20 million people and 1.6 million vehicles, according to official statistics.

Multifaceted plan

The plan, which has been made available at to solicit public opinions, says that Shanghai's efforts to improve logistics in the run-up to the Expo have paid off. The city has upgraded its infrastructure and will have 747 km of high-speed roads before the Expo opens, a 20-percent increase compared to 2008. Thirty-eight roads built around the Expo site will be completed in time for the Expo. The city is also building 32 traffic hubs to serve Expo visitors.

Shanghai's Pudong and Hongqiao airports will be able to handle 2,400 flights and 260,000 passengers per day. The city's railway system will be able to handle more than 200,000 arrivals daily.

Its municipal rail system will have the capacity to handle 5.5 million passengers per day; buses will transport 7.5 million passengers per day; and nearly 50,000 taxis will provide more than 3 million rides every day.

Even with the substantial progress in the upgrades to the host city's transportation capacity, plan drafters are only cautiously optimistic about being able to provide smooth operations when Expo-related ridership reaches a peak in September and October. To help during periods of heaviest use, the plan requests cooperation from local residents and tourists by avoiding trips to the Expo site during rush hours, on weekends and during holidays.

Visitors will be able to travel to the Expo by rail, bus, boat or taxi. The five intra-city rail lines that lead to the event site are expected to handle half of the Expo's flow of tourists. They will be able to carry as many as 100,000 passengers every hour. A free shuttle service will be provided to passengers from rail stations to the Expo entrance.

Tourists will also be encouraged to take the 30 regular city buses that travel to the site or special Expo coaches, which shuttle between the city's other major attractions and the event. Visitors will also be able to catch private coaches at six Shanghai tourist service centers and 19 centers in neighboring cities.

There are four ferry routes that visitors can take to the Expo and buses at the docks will extend their service hours to shuttle riders. Although 4,000 taxis will be allowed into the Expo, the government plan discourages tourists from taking for-hire cars as it could make traffic worse.

The plan sets up a 7-square-km traffic control area around the Expo site, which allows only the entry of private cars, taxis and buses with special passes. Parking lots with shuttles will be built in the control area to carry Expo visitors, while special Expo pass lanes for vehicles and tour buses will be set up on many city roads.

Parking facilities with 10,000 spaces will be built at highway exits and entrances outside of the city to provide Expo attendees the chance to switch to public transport before entering Shanghai.

Authorities also released a proposal to cut the use of private cars on certain days according to license plate numbers, a plan that was successful in helping Beijing's traffic when it hosted the 2008 Olympics.

The plan also assured Expo tourists that they will get real-time traffic conditions to better plan their trips in a number of ways: by going online, picking up a special Expo transport map, listening to the radio, dialing a hotline number, watching roadside signs or checking interactive information booths at many hotels.

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