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Buses in Shanghai

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Buses in Shanghai

Shanghai has more than 1000 formal bus lines (including downtown and suburban lines), served by more than 10 bus companies. In the past, Bashi, Dazhong, Guanzhong and Qiangsheng were the four largest; around 2009 they merged to become Bashi Bus Companies No.1-4. Some routes are operated by the Shanghai trolleybus system, and although the number of such routes is relatively very small compared to the overall Shanghai transit network, the trolleybus system carries the distinction of being the oldest existing such system in the world[1] (of more than 300 such systems still in operation in 2011); it opened on 15 November 1914.[1]

Naming scheme

A trolleybus on Shanghai route 11 in 2007

Most downtown buses use numbers to specify the lines, while suburban buses and a few downtown bus lines use Chinese characters.

Numerical lines

  • Line numbers under 200 are conventional buses (Chinese: 常规线). In these buses, lines under 30 (except those starting with 0) are trolleybuses (except 17, 18 and 21). All trolleybuses are now air-conditioned.
  • Line numbers between 200 and 299 are mostly lines dedicated for rush-hour only, with some exceptions where those numbers are used for conventional buses.
  • Line numbers between 300 and 399 are night buses.
  • Line numbers between 400 and 499 are buses that cross the Huangpu River. There are also many other bus lines that cross the Huangpu River.
  • Line numbers between 500 and 599 are special-line connecting buses (Chinese: 专线车).
  • Line numbers between 600 and 699 are special-line buses in Pudong.
  • Line numbers between 700 and 799 are suburban conventional lines. Most 700s buses have at least one terminal beyond Outer Ring Road (S20 Road).
  • Line numbers between 800 and 899 are special-line buses. Most of them are mid-size buses, but now they are being replaced with air-conditioned large buses.
  • Line numbers between 900 and 999 are special-line buses. Most of them are full-size and air-conditioned.

Non-numerical lines

  • Tunnel Lines (Chinese: 隧道公车线路)

Tunnel Line 1 to 9, except Tunnel Line 5 runs across a tunnel under Huangpu River. While being the same as buses in the 400s, there are many other buses that cross the many tunnels under the Huangpu River while not named as a tunnel line.

  • Bridge Lines (Chinese: 大桥公车线路)

Bridge Lines 1 to 6 run across a bridge over the Huangpu River, including Lupu Bridge, Nanpu Bridge, and Yangpu Bridge. While being the same as buses in the 400s, there are many other buses that cross the many bridges over the Huangpu River while not named as a bridge line.

  • Airport Lines (Chinese: 机场公车线路)

Airport Lines 1 to 7 connect Pudong International Airport to downtown Shanghai and Hongqiao International Airport, while Airport Special Line (Chinese: 机场专线) connects Hongqiao International Airport to the Jing'an Temple in downtown Shanghai.

  • Other Lines (Chinese: 郊区公车线路)

There will be various additional naming schemes in the alphabet lines. Most lines are named as "XY Line", where X and Y indicate the two terminals of this line e.g., "莘纪线" (Xin Ji Line) is a bus which runs between Xinzhuang and Jiwang.

Some other lines only indicate one terminal .e.g., "宝杨码头专线" (Baoyang Port Special Line) is a bus which runs between Baoyang Port and Shanghai Railway Station.

In the central portion of some suburbs, there are lines with the name format of "XX No. X" line, for example "Songjiang No.1" and "Anting No.1"


  • Shanghai in principle follows the convention which prevails in most Chinese cities whereby 'standard' buses charge between 1 - 1.8 元 (yuan,usually referred to as 'kuai') while air-conditioned buses (identifiable by a 'K' prefix) charge 2 yuan. This is generally irrelevant today however as all buses in Shanghai are air-conditioned and thus 2 元. The fare for children is 1 yuan.
  • Other line numbers under 400, those between 700 and 799, tunnel lines, and bridge lines are ordinary buses charge 1 yuan (not more than 13 km) or 1.5 (over 13 km), and if air-conditioned, the fare is 2 yuan.
  • three-digit Line number starting with 5, 6, 8, and 9 use distance-based fares starting from 1 yuan (exceptions exist, such as the 947 line running from Zhongshan Park subway station and the 876 running from Songhong Rd. subway station, both of which are flat-fare air-con buses).
  • Some use a flat-rate fare (Chinese: 单一票价), while some use distance-based fares. If a bus has a conductor then the fare is distance-based (with a few exceptions), otherwise it will be flat-fare.

Shanghai public transport card

All flat-rate fare and numbered lines and most distance-based fare lines accept the "Shanghai public transport card."

Trams in Shanghai

The first public transportation tram line in Shanghai was from the Jing'an Temple to Bund, but this line has now disappeared as service was canceled (however, the route itself lives on as part of trolleybus route 20). Now, only one tram line is running in Shanghai Movie Park for tourists.

In 2007, the Shanghai government decide to proceed with construction of a new modern tram in Zhangjiang Hi-Tech District, named "Zhangjiang Tram". It opened for passengers on December 31, 2009.


  1. ^ a b Murray, Alan (2000). World Trolleybus Encyclopaedia. Yateley, Hampshire, UK: Trolleybooks. ISBN 0-904235-18-1.

External links

  • ShanghaiBus.Net - bus photos and information (Chinese only)
  • Shanghai Bus System Tutorial (for non-Chinese speakers)
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