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  • Holiday bus fleet expanded
    The Shanghai Long-Distance Bus Station expects to handle 130,000 passengers during this year's Mid-Autumn Festival - about 60 percent more than the same period last year.
    The festival, on September 14, is a public holiday for the first time this year. The holiday falls on a weekend and includes the following Monday. An extra 100 buses a day will be added over the three-day period. Tickets can be purchased from Wednesday. --(8/31)

  • Festival season
    Organizers are urging tourist from Hong Kong and Macau to attend the Shanghai Tourism Festival from September 13 to October 6. The event includes an arts festival, a tourism festival, Formula 1 Grand Prix and the Tennis Masters Cup. --(8/30)

  • Sunflowers for sale
    Visitors to the Shanghai Botanic Garden will be able to buy sunflowers tomorrow.
    The garden has set aside a special pick-up area near Gate 4 that will be open from 9am to 11am and 1pm to 3pm. Each pot of sunflowers will cost 10 yuan (US$1.4).
    Flower enthusiasts can use this opportunity to pick up some fresh blooms. --(8/29)

  • Keeping you posted
    The urban engineering authority said there are now different ways to learn about the schedules for closures of elevated road sections.
    For maintenance purposes, many elevated roads are closed from midnight to early morning.
    Locals can get updates every day from the government Website or ring the hotline, 6259-9088. Drivers could also learn from traffic information boards. --(8/28)

  • Food warning
    Shanghai residents need to be more aware of food-related diseases, the Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention said.
    September is still the peak season for food-related diseases, especially mass food poisoning at schools and kindergartens.
    The center said residents should be wary of colds due to temperature differences next month. --(8/27)

  • Macau's history in hock at 2010 Expo
    The Macau Special Administrative Region will create a "visual presentation" of the restoration of one of its most important cultural sites the Tak Seng On Pawnshop at the Shanghai World Expo 2010, representatives from the region said yesterday.
    Tak Seng On Pawnshop is being presented as Macau's Urban Best Practice Area showcase, the region's officials said, as they signed a contract with Expo organizers in Shanghai.
    Macau is keen to share its experiences with restoration and re-use of cultural relics during the 2010 World Expo. The Tak Seng project was a successful example of restoration, management and operation of cultural sites, Zhou Hanmin, deputy director general of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination, said at the signing ceremony.
    Tak Seng On Pawnshop was built in 1917 and was Macau's largest pawnshop in the first half of the 20th century. Its fortunes gradually declined until it was finally closed in 1993.
    The special administrative government restored the old pawnshop in 2001 and turned it into a museum.
    The facility has attracted more than 40,000 visitors since its opening in 2003. --(8/26)

  • Park opening times are a changin'
    Although 10 parks in Shanghai have extended their opening times to late night, it will be a long time before all local parks stay open longer, city greenery authorities said yesterday.
    Some new parks, such as Huashan Park, Xujiahui Park and Sixian Park will stay open to about 10pm, but older parks are not equipped for opening at night, the Shanghai Greenery Administrative Bureau said.
    Old parks in Shanghai open from 6am to 6pm every day, and closing times are prolonged for an hour during summer.
    However, security guards said people had been climbing over the fences to enter the parks at night after they were closed. --(8/25)

  • Emergency measures needed
    City health authorities should streamline the training system for emergency physicians traveling in ambulances, experts said yesterday when the World Health Organization launched a training program in Shanghai.
    About 150 doctors from city hospitals' emergency departments participated in the training, the first of this type offered by WHO in China.
    To improve efficiency in first aid, WHO kicked off the training program and plans to help different countries issue regulations and technical requirements on first aid and basic surgery. --(8/24)

  • Child insurance
    From next month, the city will promote an insurance for children from one-child families with an annual premium of just 60 yuan. The insurance will provide 40,000 yuan in compensation if the child dies due to accident or disease and 20,000 yuan if he or she suffers severe illnesses. A maximum of 5,000 yuan will cover medical expenses for accidental injury. --(8/23)

  • Railway maps
    A tourist map of the Shanghai Railway Station is ready, and the first batch of 100,000 copies will be distributed free to locals in the near future.
    The map is easy to carry and contains information on roads, hospitals, hostels, stores, banks, public toilets, taxi stands and bus stations, in and around the railway hub. --(8/22)

  • Puxi gets musical fireworks
    Puxi fans of musical fireworks will no longer have to cross the river to enjoy a night sky filled with song and pyrotechnics.
    For the first time, there will be a show on the west side of the Huangpu River during this year's Shanghai Tourism Festival.
    In past years, the events were held only in Pudong's Century Park.
    Fireworks companies from China, Portugal, Italy, the United States, South Korea and Spain will participate in the performance on October 2 and 5 at Daning Lingshi Park.
    The fireworks will reflect cultural themes from each country, officials said. The theme of the Chinese portion will be love, to express people's concern for the victims of the Sichuan earthquake.
    Each show will last for one and a half hours, and admission will range from 180 yuan (US$26) to 580 yuan.
    The musical fireworks party at Century Park, which has been held for eight years, will still take place this year. --(8/21)

  • Metro dons green cap
    The newly completed green space atop the underground transfer hall for Metro lines 1,2 and 8 at the People's Square. The triangle-shaped park opened to the public yesterday. --(8/20)

  • Minhang rooftops green up
    Minhang District will grow plants on 100,000 square meters of roofs this year to save energy, according to the Shanghai Greenery Administrative Bureau.
    The project, deemed the biggest of its kind in the city, is about 96 percent complete. Shanghai already has about 500,000 square meters of "gardens in the air."
    About 60,000 square meters of greenery will be planted on the roofs of residential buildings in Minhang while the other 40,000 square meters will be installed on elevated roads, tunnels and overpasses.
    A report by Shanghai Morning Post said the rooftop gardens will be different as some will simply be lawns, some will be mostly bushes, and others will comprise a collection of flowers. --(8/19)

  • Free umbrellas get a return trip
    About 60 percent of Metro passengers who borrowed umbrellas in a new free service on local Metro lines have returned them to stations, Metro operators said yesterday.
    The Shanghai Metro Operation Co began offering 5,000 umbrellas on Metro Lines 1, 2, 3, 4, 8 and 9 from August 1 for passengers caught unprepared in a downpour.
    The blue umbrellas have been sponsored by a local education business operation and cost about 10 yuan (US$1.4) each.
    The umbrellas are offered to passengers free of charge and require no deposit, but users need to leave their telephone numbers with Metro workers.
    In the past two weeks more than 100 umbrellas have been lent to passengers and 60 percent of them had been returned so far, said Metro officials.
    Several rain storms have hit the city in the past two weeks. Usually, hawkers appear at exits of many Metro stations during storms to sell umbrellas priced around 10 yuan.
    Passengers said they were pleased to see the free service offered on local Metros rather than having to purchase umbrellas, but some have complained the logos on the public umbrellas were too big which made them too symbolic as tools of a commercial promotion.
    Borrowers should return umbrellas to any local Metro station within seven days. If they have not been returned in seven days the Metro will contact the passenger. --(8/18)

  • Real-time weather service provided at Olympic venues
    Beijing Municipal Meteorological Bureau has dispatched a team of meteorological experts and weathermen to the National Stadium, also known as Bird's Nest, to better serve track and field events to be held in the stadium on upcoming days.
    They reported every 15 minutes temperature, humidity, air pressure, wind direction and wind speed of the National Stadium to the stadium's control center, Beijing-based newspaper Beijing Times reports today.
    In addition, the meteorological group sent reports of weather conditions at the Bird's Nest four times a day to the Beijing Olympics command center.
    The track and field events, a match requiring good weather condition, began on Friday. --(8/17)

  • Medical help
    Shanghai Children's Medical Center has begun managing the Punan Hospital pediatric outpatient clinic, a district-based medical facility in Pudong New Area. Medical experts from SCMC will serve at its new branch in Punan Hospital. --(8/16)

  • New CBD set for Putuo area
    Putuo District's Changzheng Town plans to set up a new central business district to serve residents of Shanghai and Suzhou in neighboring Jiangsu Province.
    The Putuo Mid-Ring CBD will be the seventh in the city. Covering 706,600 square meters, the CBD will start at Suzhou Creek in the south and end at Hujialiu Expressway in Jiading District in the north, with the Middle Ring Elevated Road splitting the area. --(8/15)

  • Shanghai World Expo pushes fiscal restraint
    Although the overall budget for Shanghai World Expo totals 28.6 billion yuan (US$4.17 billion), emphasis will be placed on fiscal responsibility.
    Construction would take up 18 billion yuan of the budget and the rest would be used for operational costs, Hong Hao, director of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination, told a press conference in the city yesterday.
    Organizers would try to offset the operational costs via ticket sales and marketing and would not pursue profits in hosting the Expo, which was "against the principle of the event," Hong said.
    The first tickets for the Expo are set to be released on September 28 for group visitors who are encouraged to see the 5.28-square-kilometer Expo site at night to avoid overcrowding in the day.
    A general Expo ticket will be priced at 160 yuan.
    Organizers would start recruiting volunteers next May and those speaking less popular languages or specializing in serving the disabled were particularly sought for the 2010 Expo, Hong said.
    He said only a small number of pavilions with innovative design and eco-friendly material would be retained after the event. The others would be dismantled in line with the regulations of the International Exhibitions Bureau.
    Hong said 10 percent of the Expo site would be green belts and eco-friendly material would be to the fore.
    Restaurants will occupy more than 100,000 square meters, and organizers will team up with industrial and business-management authorities to monitor food quality.
    Preparation for the 2010 event was running smoothly as 214 countries and organizations had confirmed their participation, Hong said. Sixty had signed official participation contracts.
    Construction on the five permanent structures - China Pavilion, Theme Pavilion, Expo Center, Performance Center and Expo Boulevard - were well underway, and Hong said the first batch of plots would soon be handed over to participants for design and erection. --(8/14)

  • Comment sought on high-speed train line
    City authorities began soliciting public opinion this week in connection with a planned express railway linking Shanghai with Hangzhou, Ningbo and other cities in Zhejiang Province.
    The public comment phase is usually the last planning step before ground is broken on a major infrastructure project. Construction on the planned 160-kilometer railway is scheduled to start around the end of this year.
    The rail link will carry only passengers, and trains will run at short intervals to improve travel times between Shanghai and five cities in Zhejiang Province.
    Trains will travel at about 300 kilometers per hour, exceeding the maximum speed of 250 kph on China's current rail services.
    The line will also connect with the Shanghai-Beijing Express Railway, which will be completed by 2010.
    The Shanghai-Hangzhou-Ningbo rail line will have its own terminal at the Hongqiao Transport Hub, which is under construction. Another local stop will be built in Songjiang District. --(8/13)

  • Island farming to go scenic
    A modern agricultural base will be developed on Shanghai's Chongming Island which will become a scenic spot outside World Expo Park in 2010.
    The 135-square-kilometer area will have a registered population of 35,000. The Bright Food Group signed an agreement with the Chongming County Government to cooperate on the project yesterday, covering the sale of quality produce, a commercial service industry, a tourism project and the construction of villages. --(8/12)

  • Look up for showers of meteors
    Shanghai residents should be able to see a meteor shower and a lunar eclipse in the next few days.
    This year's Perseids meteor shower will occur from tomorrow night to early Wednesday, four days before a partial lunar eclipse.
    One of three major meteor showers in the northern hemisphere, Perseids is visible from mid-July each year, with the greatest activity between August 8 and 14, peaking about August 12.
    At its peak, the rate of meteors shooting across the sky reaches 60 or more an hour.
    They can be seen all across the heavens, but won't be easily visible in downtown areas because of air and light pollution and light disturbance, astronomers said.
    The shower this year will be at its most prominent from 7:30pm to 10pm tomorrow and 12:40am to 5:30am on Wednesday.
    Sunday's partial lunar eclipse will start at 2:23am.
    It won't be visible in most areas of China, however, as the moon will have already set. --(8/11)

  • Lucky date is free of trouble for newlyweds
    Marriage registration offices in Shanghai yesterday handled the massive turnout of couples seeking to tie the knot on the lucky date of the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, despite fears of queues, chaos and grueling waits.
    By 4pm yesterday 6,418 couples had attended district marriage registration offices to obtain marriage certificates. Another 67 couples divorced yesterday.
    The registration offices, however, were not crowded and disordered as expected as they had made emergency plans to meet the "marriage peak." --(8/9)

  • Cooler days coming
    Shanghai is expected to cool off from today through the weekend with a few scattered showers mixed in, as the city begins to play host to Olympic soccer matches.
    The daily highs are forecast to range between 33 and 34 degrees Celsius, with lows of 26 to 27 degrees, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said yesterday.
    The cooler weather is being caused by a tropical cyclone system on the sea around Shanghai, forecasters said.
    Autumn began yesterday, according to the solar calender, but "meteorological" fall still may be weeks or more away.
    The season isn't official until the average daily temperature drops below 22 degrees for five straight days. That usually happens during the second half of September, but for the past two years autumn hasn't come until mid-October.
    The weather bureau yesterday sent a mobile weather radar and wind profiler to Nanhui District to monitor weather conditions during the Olympic soccer matches in Shanghai, which began yesterday. The radar can monitor the weather over 300 square kilometers, and the other instrument can create a three-dimensional profile of winds below 1,000 meters.
    The bureau intends to send hourly weather forecasts to the Shanghai Soccer Organizing Committee. --(8/8)

  • Xuhui makeover extends to Huangpu River
    The Xuhui District redevelopment will be extended to the Huangpu River, city urban planners said yesterday.
    The project will include the former Longhua airport and Longhua residential area, covering 439.1 hectares and 4.25 kilometers of shoreline along the Huangpu River, according to the Shanghai Urban Planning Bureau.
    The area in Xuhui is currently mostly residential and industrial. Pollution caused by the industrial enterprises means it is currently rated as having "a poor living environment and river scenery," the bureau said. However, that should change with a greenbelt of 8.4 kilometers along the Huangpu.
    The area is adjacent to the Longhua historic and cultural zone and Expo Park will be on the other side of the Huangpu River, bureau officials said. About 60,000 people are expected to live in the new commercial area. Two tunnels and Metro Line 11 and 12 will pass through it. --(8/7)

  • Oil and gas on tap
    World Expo Shanghai 2010 has signed China's top oil producer as its 12th global partner.
    China National Petroleum Corp, also a global partner of the Beijing Olympics, will provide oil and gas as well as financial support for the 2010 event.
    It is to upgrade pipelines and facilities in the city to meet the demands of world Expo 2010. --(8/6)

  • Temperate forecast
    Shanghai won't be too hot or rainy during the Olympics period, according to the city's weather bureau yesterday.
    On Thursday, the city will be cloudy with mild winds for the first football match at Shanghai Stadium.
    Temperatures will be about 30 to 32 degrees Celsius during the match, from 5pm to 8pm. Temperatures for the second match from 8pm to 10pm are expected to further drop.
    The bureau has been monitoring the weather every three hours around Shanghai Stadium since July 25. It will step up observations every hour during the Games to enable precise forecasts, officials said. --(8/5)

  • Line 9 to link transfers
    Six of the 10 stops on the extension of Shanghai's Metro Line 9 will function as transfer hubs linking with other Metro Lines.
    The second phase construction of Metro Line 9 will be completed next year to serve the city before World Expo.
    Passengers will be able to take Metro Lines 2, 4 and 6 at Century Avenue Station and transfer to Metro Line 8 at Lujiabang Road Station.
    Madang Road Station will be a hub for both Metro Lines 9 and 13, while Jiashan Road has been designed to connect to Metro Line 12.
    Zhaojiabang Road Station is available for Metro Line 7 and Xujiahui Station will also have Metro Line 1 and 11 connections.
    Construction of Yishan Road Station, which began under the first phase, will be completed this year to realize the transfer between Metro Lines 9 and 3.
    Metro Line 9 is to be extended north to Songjiang Railway Station, connecting with another railway line to neighboring Zhejiang Province. Line 9 will connect to the Hu-Hang-Yong line that links Shanghai to the cities of Hangzhou and Ningbo.
    The line's first phase, a 31.12-kilometer section, has 13 stations, connecting Songjiang and Xuhui districts. --(8/4)

  • US basketballers arrive in Shanghai
    The United States men's basketball team bristles with confidence for upcoming two warm-ups in Shanghai for the Olympic Games after clinching easy victories in the past two matches in Macau.
    "I'm excited to be here. The whole team is healthy. I'm looking forward to good performances in the games in Shanghai, to get ready to the Olympics," Kobe Bryant said on Saturday after the US team arrived Shanghai last evening.
    The US will play against European champion Russia today and Australia on Tuesday at the Qizhong Forest Sports City, southwest of Shanghai.
    They beat Lithuania 120-84 on Friday and defeated Turkey 114-82 on Wednesday, both at Macau. They also trounced Canada 120-65 at Las Vegas before they came to China.
    "We spent last three years together. We love international games, and showed lots of respect to international games," head coach MikeKrzyzewski said. "Some great officials came in to teach us the international rules. The US team is more comfortable under international rules. We made good adjustment to them."
    Though averaging a 41-point margin in these victories, Coach K said the Olympics would not be easy as warm-ups.
    "I'm not seeing anybody can breeze through the Olympic Games. We want to win the gold medal. It doesn't matter whether we win it by 30 or 40 points. I won't say we'll breeze through at Olympics," he said.
    Jason Kidd said, "We have lots of respects to our opponents (at the Olympics). We're not going to play to score. We must make sure not to be knocked out from the preliminary round."
    The US will play their Olympic debut against China on Aug.10 at the Beijing Games, which starts on Aug. 8. --(8/3)

  • Bridge construction gets under way
    The construction of a 7.2-kilometer bridge that is part of a 52-kilometer expressway to connect Chongming Island with Jiangsu Province began yesterday.
    The six-lane expressway is the final phase of the Shanghai-Chongming-Jiangsu Connection Project, and is expected to cut travel from Shanghai to Qidong City, in neighboring Jiangsu Province, to less than one hour.
    Chongming-Qidong Bridge starts at Chenjia Town on Chongming Island. It will also be connected with the Yangtze Tunnel and Bridge located to the south, a project that will connect Pudong New Area with Chongming Island via Changxing Island, and with the Nanjing-Qidong Express in the north. --(8/2)

  • Weekend services
    The Bank of East Asia will launch an operation for retail clients this weekend as the first overseas bank to offer large-scale weekend services.
    The Hong Kong-based bank will open from 10am to 4pm on weekends, offering services including wealth management and transfer of funds between accounts. --(8/1)



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