Free bus service for Expo visitors

created: 2009-09-25

More than 100 free shuttle buses will drive visitors from pavilion to pavilion, and ferries will carry them across the Huangpu River to ensure convenient transportation throughout the site of the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, organizers said yesterday.

Visitors will be able to find a shuttle bus station every 300 meters within the 5.28-square-kilometer Expo site, and buses will roll by every three minutes, Huang Jianzhi, deputy director of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination, told a news conference at the annual meeting of Expo participants.

The update session, the last before the Expo begins on May 1, brought together 818 representatives of the 242 countries and organizations taking part in next year's event.

The main 14-kilometer-long shuttle bus route will be served by 120 zero-emissions buses that will make stops at an Asian Pavilions Station, China Pavilion Station, Theme Pavilion Station and America Pavilions Station in the Pudong section of the Expo site and a Corporate Pavilions Station in Puxi, or the west side of the Huangpu River.

The vehicles will use the Xizang Road S. Tunnel, one of Shanghai's newest cross-river passages and the only one connecting both Expo zones along the Huangpu River, Huang said.

There will be a second, 3-kilometer route in Pudong. Thirty buses will pass the Asian countries' pavilions, the Expo Center, the international organizations' pavilions, European pavilions and African pavilions.

Visitors will also be able to tour the grounds for a fee on eight-seat, golf cart-like vehicles, Huang said. The charge is still under consideration.

The electric tour buses will run on the elevated pedestrian paths that link the pavilions, and on the roads. Visitors can stop and board anywhere on the site.

In addition to the buses, 70 ferry boats will take visitors across the river. Three wharves will be set up in Pudong and two in Puxi. Another wharf will be built in Pudong for VIPs.

Visitors will be able to take six Metro lines - No. 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 13, which is known as the Expo Special Line - to the site, officials pointed out.

The organizer will build 19 parking lots near the Expo entrances, with capacity for 4,000 buses and 1,400 cars.

An average 400,000 visitors are expected a day, but the number is forecast to double during peaks such as May 1, the opening day of the event, and October 1, National Day and a special day at the China Pavilion.

To make entry more convenient, the organizer will advance the opening time by one to two hours from the planned 9am start if substantial numbers of early arrivals are waiting outside.

Early entrants will be able to walk around the site, take pictures or just rest until the pavilions open at 9:30am, Huang said.

Water and other drinks, lighters and pets will be banned at the entrance, Huang said. The organizer will issue a notice on any other banned articles before the opening of the Expo.

(Shanghai Daily September 25, 2009)

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