Holiday traffic restrictions
Some downtown streets will be closed for New Year's Eve celebrations. A party and other performances will be held near Xintiandi and at Times Square.
Hubin Road between Huangpi Road and Shunchang Road will be closed for 12 hours starting at midnight on December 31.
Please refer to the map to see what other streets will be closed on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day.
The restrictions were made to ensure a safe start to 2006. --(12/30)
Website lets drivers book parking spots online
Drivers can now book a downtown parking space over the Internet after using the Web to find out which parking lots have vacancies.
An online parking lot information center went into operation yesterday to provide the service. The center is connected with a traffic hot line and will work with two radio stations to offer up-to-the-minute parking information, according to the Shanghai Urban Transport Bureau.
"The platform will help drivers locate available parking spaces quickly and reduce the amount of time they spend driving around looking for somewhere to park," said Yang Changhai of the bureau.
Drivers can get parking information at the center's Website (www.sh96520.com) or by listening to AM 648 and FM 105.7.
The information comes from a Geographical Information System, which currently covers 240 commercial parking lots in four districts. --(12/29)
Plate sale set for start of next year
The city government will sell 5,000 license plates for cars owned by individuals and private companies on January 7, the first car plate auction of the new year.
Applicants can register to take part in the bidding at seven places across the city including the Shanghai International Commodity Auction Co Ltd at No. 108 Fuzhou Road. The registration period will begin on January 3 and run through January 6. --(12/28)
Year of Dog to bring baby boom and shortage of ayis
A baby boom is expected next year, The Year of the Dog according to the lunar Calender, meaning there should be huge demand for nurses who look after children during the first month after deliver, or yuezi ayi as they are known in Chinese.
The expected baby boom is the result of an ancient Chinese superstition. Many people in the country believe zodiac signs can affect a child's personality, so they prefer to have children in the years of the tiger, monkey and dog.
Babies born in the Year of the Dog are believed to be honest, loyal and independent. --(12/27)
Port keeps busy
Martime authorities said yesterday that 23 large container ships had sailed into the Yangshan Deep-Water Port and 22 others traveled through the port since it officially opened on December 10. --(12/26)
Shanghai people mourns death of Wang Daohan
Experts on Taiwan issue and residents in Shanghai where Wang Daohan passed away Saturday, began to commemorate the renowned man who worked for the promotion of relations between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan for many years.
Wang, president of the mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, died in a hospital in Shanghai at 7 a.m. (Beijing time) at the age of 90. --(12/25)
Building starts on 2nd terminal
Shanghai will fully establish its status as a regional aviation hub by 2015, according to a plan adopted by city government yesterday.
One of the plan's chief components is the completion of a second terminal by 2007.
Located east of the existing 278,000-square-meter structure, the second terminal will comprise 480,000 square meters and cost 19.7 billion yuan (US$2.5 billion).
Shanghai's two airports are expected to handle 41 million passengers this year, up 66 percent from a year ago. More than 2.2 million tons of cargo are expected to go through the two airports, up 57 percent. --(12/23)
Transfer passages to lower subway fares
Several new transfer passages have been or will be set up along Metro lines in the city so commuters can spend less time and money getting around town.
A unified charge system will also set up to allow commuters to change lines without buying a new ticket at designated transfer stations.
The easier interchange will begin on Sunday at four transfer stations along the four Metro lines in operation, the Shanghai Metro Operation Company Ltd announced yesterday.
Another station at the Shanghai Indoor Stadium will also apply the easier access to connect Line No. 1 with Line No. 4 when the line opens this month.
At the Shanghai Railway Station, passengers will still have to leave the station and walk a long way to change between Line No. 1 and Line No. 3, officials added.
So far the easier change across different lines is only available at People's Square, where Metro Line No. 1 meets Line No. 2, and at Zhongshan Park Station, which connects the No. 2 and No. 3 lines.
At other stations, passengers have to leave the station and buy a new ticket even if they only plan to travel one more stop.
For example, passengers traveling from the Chunshen Road Station on Line No. 5 to Jiangwan Town Station on Line No. 3 previously had to buy three tickets costing 10 yuan (US$1.20) in total. Now they only need to buy one 6-yuan ticket.
The system will be applied on future Metro lines to create an integrated subway network. More than 1,000 ticket machines have already been updated to make the new one-ticket system possible. --(12/22)
New Year concert scheduled
The 2006 New Year's Concerts for Worldwide Chinese Artists will be held at the Shanghai Grand Theater from December 31 to January 2, 2006, the concert organizing committee announced yesterday. Sponsored by the Shanghai Personnel Bureau, the concert will gather 100 overseas Chinese musicians from 20 countries and regions, including famous pianist Lang Lang and soprano Ying Huang, to perform with the Shanghai International Festival Orchestra. --(12/21)
City ensures security for holiday
Leaders of ten local departments, led by Shanghai Vice Mayor Hu Yanzhao, conducted security checks to some companies and units yesterday afternoon.
To date, Shanghai has had a total of 9,820 leased workshops which are left unused, with a combined area of 19.7 million square meters and 210,000 leaseholders.
It is an urgent task to guarantee security before the New Year's Day and Spring Festival holiday. In such a chilly weather when accidents are more likely to occur, all local departments must strengthen management to avoid hidden troubles before the holiday, Vice Mayor Hu stressed. --(12/20)
Shanghai's environment improves
Shanghai's environmental quality has largely improved over the past six years, with green space in the city center reaching 11 square meters per capita.
The city, named "National Garden City" by the Ministry of Construction last year, has established 14 large parks over the past six years and a total of 4,168-hectares of green-space within the Outer Ring Road. Green coverage in the city center amounts to 37 percent, and in the suburban area nearly 35,000 hectares of forestation is expected to be completed by the end of this year. Residents within the city's Inner Ring Road can access green space within only 500 meters of their homes.
Water quality in the city has also largely improved, with Suzhou Creek reaching the standard for recreational use. Shanghai has invested a total of 2.08 billion yuan (US$250 million) in cleaning up 239-kilometers of waterways (169 river sections), with 6.81 million cubic meters of waste and silt cleared.
Eighteen sewage treatment plants have been established in local suburbs, increasing the daily treatment capacity by 3.49 million cubic meters. --(12/19)
Pudong airport plans to double passengers
On December 16, the Shanghai Airport Authority unveiled a blueprint for the future that will double passenger and air cargo volume at Pudong International Airport in 2015, solidifying the facility's statue as a major regional transport hub.
The long-range plan envisions the construction of four new terminals and three new runways, added air freight capacity and major improvements in passenger and vehicle flows.
"The new plan is aimed at reinforcing the Pudong airport's capacity as an Asia-Pacific hub," said Wu Nianzu, chairman and president of the Shanghai Airport Authority. "It's also designed to make it easier for international passengers to transfer from one flight to another."
The Pudong airport, which opened in 1999, now is served by one terminal and two runways.
Construction of the airport's 19.7 billion yuan (US$2.5 billion) second phase will begin soon, possible this month, airport officials said.
A second major terminal comprising 480,000 square meters is scheduled to be finished in 2007 to the east of the existing 278,000-square-meter structure.
The terminals, which will run parallel to each other, will form two long rectangles.
The original plans called for the construction of four such structures. Two of those have been scrapped. Instead, a boxlike terminal will link the two long buildings, and two crossed-shaped terminals will be located to their south, allowing better access to planes.
All the terminals will be linked by moving walkways to ensure convenient passenger flow, especially for transfer travelers.
"We also plan to adjust flights between Hongqiao International Airport and Pudong, moving major transfer flights to Pudong and making the process easier," Wu said.
He estimated that 30 to 40 percent of the eventual passengers at the Pudong airport will be transferring to another flight in the future. The figure is now 5 percent.
Two new runways will be built by 2015, and a fifth is envisioned at an undetermined point in the future.
In addition, a new transport system will separate passenger and vehicular flow.
Taxis, cars and shuttle buses will be confined to the ground floor, and travelers and their luggage will move along a 6-meter-high upper level. The two floors will be linked by escalators.
The expansion will enable the airport to handle 60 million passengers and 4.2 million tons of cargo in 2015.
The passenger volume at the airport is expected to reach 25 million this year, up from the 21 million last year. Freight levels are forecast to rise to 2.2 million tons this year, compared with 1.8 million tons last year. --(12/18)
SMS to check social insurance
The Labor and Social Security Bureau has launched a cell phone short message service for local employees to check their social insurance hand-in situation. The SMS service will alert people who have opened an online account about their account situation on the 10th day of each month and remind of the delay. Locals can apply for the service at the Website (www.12333.gov.cn). --(12/16)
City to ensure stable energy supplies
Shanghai will continue to implement energy-saving measures to guarantee stable supplies of electricity and gas this winter, Shanghai Municipal Government spokeswoman Jiao Yang said at a regular government press conference yesterday. --(12/15)
City sets chemical rules
Local businesses that deal with the production, sale and transport of poisonous chemicals must register with the Shanghai Public Security Bureau, the Shanghai Safety Production Supervision Bureau and the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration ahead of March, 2006. --(12/14)
Yangshan port makes an impressive debut
The Yangshan Deep-Water Port is expected to serve 65 cargo ships sailing to or from Europe within a month of opening. This is the heaviest schedule a local port has ever had during its first month of operations.
Besides, Yangshan port will be developed into a cargo trans-shipment hub. Many domestic ports have asked to be linked to Yangshan port by the opening of direct shipping routes.
With a water-depth of 15.5 meters, the port can accommodate the world's largest container ships. --(12/13)
Pudong airport to cut queues
The Pudong International Airport will open more immigration counters this morning, as the number of travelers using the airport continues to grow at a rapid pace.
The Pudong Frontier Inspection Station said yesterday it would open six extra counters for international flights at 6am today, in order to raise the speed of boarding checks for international travelers.
The airport will now have 54 immigration counters.
This is the third time this year the airport has opened extra counters to deal with a growing number of travelers.
Airport authorities opened the northern boarding check zone in February and added 16 more counters in July.
About 14.4 million travelers have flown into or out of the city through the Pudong International Airport during the first 11 months of this year, an increase of about 16 percent from last year.
About 3.77 million foreign travelers have flown into the airport this year, up 20 percent from the same period last year.
Immigration police have inspected about 105,000 flights this year, up 19 percent from a year earlier. --(12/12)
New bus route opens
A bus route linking Lingang New City and the Longyang Road Station of Metro Line No. 2 will open today when the Yangshan Deep-Water Port starts operation, Shanghai Dazhong Transport Group said on Friday.
The route will offer six round-trip nonstop bus services a day. Buses will leave the Longyang Station from 7:30am to 4pm. They will leave Lingang New City from 9am to 5:30pm.The one-hour trip will cost 17 yuan (US$2.12). --(12/11)
Official start to winter
Winter has arrived.
Meteorologists said yesterday winter officially arrived after the daily average temperature remained below 10 degrees Celsius for five consecutive days.
Winter thus began on December 4, the first of the five days below 10 degrees, according to meteorological criteria. --(12/9)
City supports young inventors
Shanghai elementary and middle school students have been awarded nearly 100 national patents over the past five years, thanks to supportive government measures.
In 2000, local departments, in conjunction with the schools, offered preferential policies for students in such a way that they only needed to submit their applications to the schools and get patent certificates after a four-month wait without having to pay the usual fees.
Such policies have encouraged a growing number of students to turn their minds to invention and apply for patents.
However, the limited research and development capabilities of elementary and middle school students has led to only a few of their inventions being practical in real life, said an industry analyst. --(12/8)
Jiao Tong, Georgia Tech cooperate
Shanghai Jiao Tong University has teamed up with the Georgia Institute of Technology to launch a dual master's degree program in electrical and computer engineering, university officials announced yesterday.
G. Wayne Clough, president of Georgia Tech, was also awarded an honorary doctorate by Jiao Tong yesterday, making him the second foreign university president who received the title after Michigan University President Mary Sue Coleman.
The partnership contract signed by the two sides yesterday ruled that students admitted to the two-year program would have the right to choose to study at either Jiao Tong or at Georgia Tech's campus in the US city of Atlanta.
Georgia Tech professors will lecture in the city, and the program's faculty resources and course content will be exactly the same at the two campuses.
The contract also ruled that Jiao Tong would also become an overseas summer tour base for Georgia Tech students. --(12/7)
The International Festivals and Events Association has awarded 10 Chinese festivals including Shanghai International Arts Festival, Qingdao Beer Festival, Wuqiao International Acrobatics Festival and Nanning Folk Song Festival as "China's most influential festivals in the world." Shanghai International Arts Festival gained this award due to its achievements in cultural and art exchange between China and the world. --(12/6)
Bus station to open
The city's South Long Distance Bus Station will begin operation on Saturday, with an expected passenger flow of 5,500 people a day. The station will mainly handle buses headed south or southwest of the city. --(12/5)
Beijing Olympic stamps popular with collectors
The 2008 Beijing Olympics have provided a much needed boast for the local stamp market, which has been in the doldrums for almost a year.
Two new stamps, one featuring the emblem for the games and the other featuring the mascots, have proven incredibly popular among both stamp collectors and investors of late.
A page of 10 of either of the stamps has a face value of 8 yuan (99 US cents), but they are selling for much more than that. --(12/3)
Fireworks restrictions set
Residents are only allowed to light fireworks from 8pm to 6am on January 28 through February 2 during the Spring Festival, the Shanghai Fire Control Bureau announced yesterday.
The bureau also banned setting off fireworks on Nanjing Road, Huaihai Road and at Yuyuan Garden.
Officials said the practice to reward citizens who help police find illicit pyrotechnics will continue this year. About 2 million yuan (US$246,914) has been budgeted for whistle blowers.
The government set up a hot line (6232-2110) for people to provide tips. Those who offer valuable information will be given 20 yuan for every box of illegal fireworks seized. --(12/2)
AIDS restaurant opens today
One way to mark World AIDS Day today would be to wander over to Yuyuan Road near the Jing'an Temple for a meal at the city's first AIDS-themed restaurant.
The Chinese eatery, which was set up by a local media firm and a US multinational, will give away condoms to adult dinners and encourage customers to donate their change to AIDS charities.
The restaurant, named Wumizhou, will open today targeting white-collar workers, according to officials with the Wumizhou Group. --(12/1)