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Bus Service

Updated:2008-06-04 10:35 | Source:


    Bus and trolley bus (to be mentioned as just bus below) may be not the best transport for foreigners, but having some knowledge about it will give you an option when you come across a traffic problem, especially when you cannot find a taxi on a rainy day or have no idea where the Metro station is.

    Shanghai buses can be extremely crowded in rush hours and some of them are not totally clean. But buses on busy shopping streets or connecting major attractions are in excellent condition and during off-peak hours it is a pleasure to ride in them. Plus, the bigger windows of a bus will give you a better view of the city than taking taxis or subways.


    Language is the biggest barrier for foreigners to ride a bus. The signs at bus stops are all in Chinese and very few bus drivers and conductors speak English. Some buses in the downtown have English announcements in their onboard reminder system.

    If you have to take a packed bus, take care of your pockets and backpacks. It is wise to take down the pack from your shoulder and carry it in your hands, which can save space on the bus and keep it away from pickpockets.

    How to ride

    Bus stops

    Shanghai's bus stops are generally near intersections, and a stop is usually named after the closest road intersecting the road the bus running on.

    A tall post with a plate on the top, which looks like a flag, indicates a bus stop. One plate stands for one bus line. If the stop serves three bus lines, it will have three plates.

    On one side, the plate shows the route number, the stop name and the next stop. The other side displays all the stops along the route, fares and the time when the first bus and the last bus will arrive at the stop. They are all in Chinese.

    Some bus stops have a shelter, which may make it easy to recognize a bus stop. But those without a shelter could be missed because they may be hiding behind sidewalk trees and telegraph poles.


    The bus fares are cheap, compared with subways and taxis.

    Most of the city's buses charge a flat fee, no matter how far you go. Fares on plain buses are 1 yuan (12 US cents) and air-conditioned ones charge 2 yuan. Most buses running on downtown streets are air-conditioned. Some buses running long routes may charge 1.5 yuan.

    Transport card holders will receive a 0.5 yuan (6 US cents) discount on their two-yuan fare if they take a second trip on any of the routes involved in the discount scheme within 90 minutes of boarding the first bus.

    Not every bus route in Shanghai part of the discount scheme which covers some 70 bus routes along Yan'an Road, Beijing Road, Nanjing Road and Huaihai Road do.

    Getting on and off

    Many Shanghai buses have no conductor. You should get on by the front door and put money into a box beside the driver. The back door is for getting off.

    You'd better keep some loose change for riding such no-conductor buses. The box will not return change if you give it a big note and the drivers are not allowed to handle cash. If you want to test your Chinese and courage, you can throw in a 10-yuan bill and ask the driver to allow you to collect other passengers' money as your change.

    You will see several yellow seats on each bus. They are reserved for seniors, children, the sick, disabled, pregnant and anyone carrying a baby. The conductor or driver may ask people to give up those seats.


    A Public Transportation Card cannot be swiped twice on the same bus or Metro station. So prepare coins if you have a card but your companions don't.

    The bus fares are for one way. If you reach a terminal station and want to ride back, you must buy a ticket or pay the charge again.

    • Major routes that may be useful to you

    The city has nearly 1,000 bus lines, but only a few passing the downtown and connecting the city's shopping streets or landmarks are useful to foreigners.

    No. 20: These buses run from 5am to 11:15pm. Major attractions along the route include the Bund, People's Square, Nanjing Road W., Jing'an Temple and Zhongshan Park.

    No. 925: These buses run from 6am to 9pm, linking Hongqiao airport and People's Square. The major route is along Yang'an Road.

    No. 925B: Pay attention to this line. It's different from No. 925, though its major route is also along Yang'an Road and it shares the same terminal station at People's Square. Bus No. 925B runs from People's Square to Hanghua New Village

    No. 926: These buses run from 6:30am to 10pm. Major attractions along the route include the City God Temple, Yuyuan Garden, Huaihai Road, Xujiahui and the Shanghai Gymnasium.

    No. 93: These buses run from 4:30am to 11pm. Major attractions along the route include Jing'an Temple, Shanghai Library and Xujiahui.

    No. 15: These buses run from 5am to 11pm. Major attractions along the route include the Shanghai Gymnasium, Xujiahui, Huaihai Road and Jing'an Temple.

    No. 936: This route links Pudong and Puxi and takes in the Shanghai Zoo, People's Square, and the Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone. The buses run from 7am to 7pm.


    Buses numbered 300 to 400 are night lines. They operate only after 12pm.

    Not all bus routes run on the same streets back and forth. If you want to ride the same bus back, make sure you know where the stop is for the opposite direction.

Editor : Zhu Xinrui

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