How to Take Shanghai Metro

Metro system is more or less different from place to place. Here we offer a detailed Shanghai metro transportation guidance to facilitate your travel on Shanghai subway trains. A subway trip usually contains the following eight steps:

1. Entering the Station

You can get to your starting metro station by bus or taxi. There is a well-marked signpost within 200 to 500 meters of the station. Follow it, you will easily find an entrance. A metro station usually has two or more entrances and exits, each of which has a clear sign with both Chinese and English description on it, including the station name, entrance/exit number and the line number.
Entering the Station
Step1: Entering the Station
Buying Subway Tickets
Step2: Buying Metro Tickets

2. Buying Metro Tickets

After entering the station, you can follow the guide signs to find the ticket office. You should decide what kind of ticket you want to buy - single journey ticket, Shanghai-Public-

Transportation-Card-paid ticket or souvenir ticket. Ticket prices vary from CNY 2 to CNY 9 according to the mileage between your starting station and destination.

There are two ways to buy tickets:
First, you can buy tickets in the ticket booth after looking up the fare on the station's  signboard or asking the ticket issuing clerk for the fare.

Secondly, you can do self-service ticketing at a multifunctional ticket machine. Here offers the method for using the machine: Click the number of the subway line you want to take on the screen and click your destination station. The machine then shows you the single trip price. Please click the number of the tickets you want (no more than 9 at a time) and then the total price appears on the screen. Now you need to put a certain sum of notes or coins according to the total price into the slot on the machine. Well, you can take the change and tickets and go for the next step.


3. Entering the Turnstile

With the ticket and follow the guide signs you can go to the turnstiles at the entrance to the platform. Each of the turnstiles has two indicator lights. You can use the turnstile when its green light is on. However, a turnstile is temporarily out of service when its red light is on.

'Right Hand Principle' is adopted when entering the turnstile. Please hold your ticket in the right hand and hold it slightly above the round intelligent card reader on the panel of the turnstile controller on your right. After a few seconds of inspection and validation, the screen on the panel of the controller will show the value of the ticket (except the souvenir ticket, which will have 'please go' in Chinese on the screen) and then you can get through the turnstile.

Enter the Turnstile
Step3: Enter the Turnstile
Waiting for the Train
Step4: Waiting for the Train

4. Waiting for the Train

Follow the guide signs to find the correct platform to wait for the train in the direction of your destination. If you wait at the stations shared by Line 3 and 4, please pay attention to the train's color belt to prevent from taking the wrong train. The arrival time of the next train is displayed on the screen at the platform. Please be patient and stand within the safety line.

5. Getting on the Train

When your train comes, please wait until the train stops and the doors completely open. You can get on the train after some passengers getting off. Before the train leaves, the caution lights on the train doors will blink and the buzzer will ring for six or seven times. If you haven't got on the train at the time, please stand within the safety line and wait for the next train. Remember to not touch the train doors during the opening or closing of them.
Getting on the Train
Step5: Getting on the Train
Getting off the Train
Step6: Getting off the Train

6. Getting off the Train

During your trip, the screens in the compartments of the train show the name of the next station and the detention time. The train announcer also broadcasts the related information repeatedly. The train usually stays 30 to 40 seconds at a station, so you should prepare to get off betimes. When the train arrives at your destination, please get off the train quickly however do not forget to take your belongings.

7. Exiting the Turnstile

Exiting the Turnstile
Step7: Exiting the Turnstile
After getting off the train, you have to go through the ticket inspection formality at the turnstiles at the exit of the platform area. 'Right Hand Principle' is also used. Please have the ticket in your right hand.

Shanghai Public Transportation Card users can do as you enter the turnstile in your starting station - hold the card over the round card reader on the turnstile controller and then the screen on the panel of the controller will show the balance of your card. You can get out then.

Passenger who holds a single journey ticket should insert the ticket into the slot on the turnstile controller and exit the turnstile then.

If you hold a souvenir ticket, please insert the ticket just as the single journey ticket users do. However, the ticket will be returned to you after inspection. You can take it on the top of the controller and exit the turnstile.


8. Exiting the Station

Now you need to choose an exit that leads to your destination. With the help of the guide signs you can easily get out.


On Subway
On Metro
1. Guide Sign: You can find many guide signs in and around the Shanghai subway stations. The signs in white show the way to enter a station and buy tickets and take a train, while the signs in yellow show the way to exit a station.
2. Metro Line Transfer: If you plan to make a transfer at a station, please do not exit the turnstile after you get off the first train. You can pass through a special passage leading to the platform for trains on the next line you plan to take.
3. Time Limit: The whole trip should be finished within three hours due to the validity period of the ticket.
4. Safety: The importance of safety can not be overemphasized. Remember to stand within the safety line and be watchful of the train doors when they open or close. Please note that there is a drop of 10 cm. from the trains to the platforms of Line 6 and 8.
5. Children: One adult passenger can take one child shorter than 1.2 meters (3.9 feet) who can enjoy free metro service.
6. Luggage: One passenger's luggage should be lighter than 20 kilograms (44 pounds) and smaller than 0.15 cubic meters (5.3 cubic feet). The total of the length, width and height of one's luggage should be within 1.8 meters (5.9 feet).
7. Metro Service: You can ask the staff for help when you have inquiries or problems.
- Last modified on Sep. 08, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on How to Take Shanghai Metro
Asked by yusuf from TURKEY | Sep. 06, 2019 05:17Reply
I want to have 4 days travel card for all Shanghai metro lines.
What will be price and where can I get it?
Answers (1)
Answered by Kyler from NEW ZEALAND | Sep. 08, 2019 20:48

There are 1 day transport card (CNY18) and 3-day card (CNY45) for your choice. You can buy them at any metro station and airport.
Asked by SONIYA from INDIA | Aug. 13, 2019 03:41Reply
I want to have 3 days travel card for all Shanghai metro lines.
What will be price and where can I get it?
Answers (1)
Answered by Rowan from USA | Aug. 14, 2019 17:53

It costs CNY45 and you can buy it at any metro station's service center.
Asked by Bernice from SINGAPORE | Jul. 28, 2019 23:45Reply
public transportation card useable on Shanghai maglev?How much is the maglev fare?
Answers (1)
Answered by Layla from UNITED KINGDOM | Jul. 30, 2019 00:13

Yes, you can use the card to take the maglev. The ticket fare is CNY50. But if you use the transportation card, you can enjoy the 20% discount. It is CNY40.
Asked by Lauryn from USA | Jul. 06, 2019 06:49Reply
Where can you buy a public transportation card in Pujiang, Minhang, Shanghai?
Answers (3)
Answered by Fiona from USA | Jul. 08, 2019 00:15

You can buy it inside any subway station from the Human Service Counter, like Pujiangzhen Station (Line 8).
Answered by Lauryn from USA | Jul. 09, 2019 23:38

Ok so I tired to do that but I realized I didn't know what was happening. If I don't have a Chinese back card what does the process look like in asking to buy a card?
Answered by Hailey from CANADA | Jul. 11, 2019 00:08

You can buy the card at counters of any metro station and some staff can understand English. However, generally they just accept the cash.
Asked by Ruta from LITHUANIA | Jul. 03, 2019 23:37Reply
Can I buy Shanghai 3 day subway card at self service?
Or do I need to go to an actual booth, is it possible to know the price?
Answers (1)
Answered by Mason from USA | Jul. 04, 2019 18:19

You can buy the card at human service center, that's to say, you can buy 3-day card at mostly subway station. It costs CNY45.
Ask a Question
Question Summary (100 characters)
Details (optional) (2,000 characters)