Lights cut short
To save energy, scenic lighting at night during the National Day holiday will be shortened from seven days to five days.
The lighting will be on in the main business areas and at famous scenic spots from 6:30pm to 11pm until Thursday, the Shanghai Public Sanitation Bureau said. --(9/29)
Port info plan
An information-exchange platform between Shanghai and 15 other port cities in the Yangtze River Delta Region was launched on Friday, local port administration bureau officials said.
The information system is expected to improve service in the port transport industry. A research center on port management practices, supported by Fudan University and all 16 regional port administrations, is also being set up. --(9/28)
High wind keeps small boats dockside
Service was suspended early yesterday on small passenger ferries running between the downtown and nearby islands, and some cargo vessels were kept in port as a cold front swept the city with strong wind.
Wind speeds on waterways near the mouth of the Yangtze River were measured at 39 to 61 kilometers per hour late yesterday afternoon, according to the Wusong Maritime Authority, which is in charge of shipping safety at the mouth of the Yangtze River.
"Only some of the small, fast passenger ferries were suspended because of the wind," said Xing Dafeng, a Wusong maritime officer. The larger ferries operated as usual, authorities added.
Several small cargo vessels were required to remain at anchor, but all other cargo vessels were conducting normal runs. Authorities also reduced the speed limit on the Donghai Bridge yesterday morning as wind hitting the cross-sea passage to the Yangshan Deep-Water Port crested at 74kph.
The cold front cut yesterday's high temperature to 23.6 degrees Celsius, 8 degrees lower than Thursday's high. The weather bureau warned that strong wind may continue to buffet the city today. --(9/27)
New ships added to river fete
Three new cruise ships will glow in the night during this year's Huangpu River ship parade, one of the biggest events of the ongoing Shanghai Tourism Festival, officials yesterday.
Altogether 22 ships will cruise the river on the night of October 3, giving visitors a "visual feast," according to the Shanghai Tourism Administrative Commission.
The new ships, the Star, the Oriental Pearl and the Captain 3, will be decorated with colorful lights.
"The three ships will provide water transport during the 2010 World Expo, and this is their debut show," said the commission's Zhang Mode.
A fireworks display will close of the event.
The Bund, Binjiang Avenue and the Oriental Pearl TV Tower are among the best sites to watch the parade. --(9/26)
British boost for energy savings
Shanghai officials may team up with members of the Confederation of British Industry to help protect the environment and increase energy savings in the city, Mayor Han Zheng said yesterday.
Shanghai welcomed CBI investment and development in the city, Han said.
He said the city government was willing to take on suggestions to increase efficiency and improve the investment environment.
The mayor yesterday met Martin Broughton, the CBI president in Shanghai.
The CBI is the leading British lobbying organization for businesses in the UK and international issues.
Many CBI members were actively involved in Expo 2010 which would provide a strong opportunity to boost trade, Broughton said. --(9/25)
Yantgze Delta may top New York, Tokyo
The Yangtze River Delta will surpass the New York and Tokyo regions to become the world's most economically productive metropolitan area by 2018, scholars from Shanghai Jiao Tong University said at a seminar yesterday.
They said gross domestic product in the Yangtze Delta metropolitan region, which comprises a triangular-shaped territory including Shanghai, southern Jiangsu Province and northern Zhejiang Province ?? will exceed that of New York in 2013 and Tokyo in 2018.
The predictions were based on a forecast of 11-percent GDP growth in the delta and 2 percent for New York and Tokyo.
"The GDP of the Yangtze Delta region will reach 15.92 trillion yuan (US$2.3 trillion) in 2020," said Gao Ruxi of Jiao Tong University.
Scholars urged Yangtze Delta authorities to increase the service industry and lift any internal barriers that may hinder future development.
They also advised area authorities to learn from the Pearl River Delta region in Guangdong Province, also one of the country's leading economic regions and a major manufacturing center.
The Pearl River Delta region generates a massive amount of GDP with lower investment than other regions, and its quality of life is comparatively high in terms of people's savings and the prevalence of computers and cell phones among its consumers, authorities said. --(9/24)
Urban planning experts from around the world gave advice in Shanghai yesterday on what constitutes a "better city, better life" - the theme of the 2010 World Expo.
The experts mainly discussed how cities can provide their citizens with livable development while accommodating urbanization.
A city should provide sustainable and expandable urban environments for its rapidly growing population as well as preserve its old buildings for the future, said Lim Eng Hwee, assistant chief planner and director of urban redevelopment for Singapore.
Other experts shared experiences from Hong Kong, Liverpool, Barcelona and Nanjing. --(9/23)
Bike rental scheme to operate at Metro line
THE Metro, working with a local bike company, yesterday morning started a bike rental scheme at Line 2's Zhangjiang High-tech Park Station.
It is a trial for what is hoped will be a citywide scheme offering bikes for rent at Metro stations all over Shanghai.
By 2012 there will be bikes for rent at 800 Metro stations and 2,700 rental sites inside business and residential buildings.
Tens of thousands of commuters go through the Zhangjiang High-tech Park Station every day to work at the Zhangjiang High-tech Park or the Pudong Software Park.
Bikes are the perfect green and cost-efficient vehicles for people to use to commute between work and the Metro station. Before you can rent a bike you have to pay a 200-yuan (US$28) deposit and the rental runs at between 1 and 3 yuan per hour. The longer the bike is kept the rental rate increases to encourage people to return bikes as quickly as possible.
If you keep a bike for 24 hours it will set you back 60 yuan.
Commuters who buy one of the 150-yuan prepaid year cards can have the first 30 minutes' rental for free each time.
The Shanghai Forever Bicycle Co, which is supplying the bikes, has fitted GPS devices to them all so they can track them. But if a commuter has his bike stolen he will lose his deposit.
Return spots have been set up inside the Zhangjiang High-tech Park and the Pudong Software Park. --(9/22)
Car plate prices falling
Car registration plate prices fell sharply this month, reflecting lower auto sales in Shanghai.
Both successful bids and overall bidding prices dropped in September, figures released yesterday by the Shanghai International Commodity Auction indicated.
The average price of successful bids dropped to 31,788 yuan, 4,672 yuan down on August prices.
The lowest bidding price dropped to 29,300 yuan, 6,600 yuan lower than August.
It was the second lowest bid of the year, well ahead of an 8,100 yuan bid in January when a new auction system was implemented.
The government increased the number of plates for sale to 6,500 in September, however, the number of bidders dropped 22 percent to 11,002.
Market demand usually increases in September as new car owners want to drive their vehicles during the National Day holiday.
The higher prices in August led some buyers to pay over 38,000 yuan on the second-hand market to avoid price escalation at auction.
Analysts said the unexpected price drop was a result of fewer car sales despite the prime selling season.
They said people are more cautious with their money now after hearing about global financial crisis, and hesitate in buying big-budget durables such as cars.
China's auto sales posted their first year-on-year drop in August. China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said sales fell 6.34 percent to 629,000 units.
Passenger car sales fell 6.24 percent to 451,300 units while commercial vehicle sales fell 6.59 percent to 177,700 units. --(9/21)
Hospitals offer free urinary screening
The Shanghai Health Bureau is urging parents who suspect their children may have been exposed to melamine-laced milk formula to go to a local hospital for a free urinary screening.
The screenings can be done at any of the 74 district or city-based comprehensive hospitals with pediatrics departments. Doctors will look for evidence of kidney or urinary stones, which can be caused by drinking milk formula contaminated with melamine.
The city has designated 21 district-based hospitals to treat children sickened by tainted formula, while designated city-based hospitals are mainly responsible for treating patients with acute kidney failure and other serious complications.
Officials said there are about 300,000 children in the city below age three, the target group of potential formula drinkers.
Health officials said parents shouldn't automatically rush to one of the big hospitals for a simple urinary checkup, which could result in a large amount of patients and long waiting times.
The district-level hospitals are more appropriate. --(9/20)
Railway authorities said nearly 9.25 million passengers are expected to travel by train from Shanghai, and Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui provinces for 10 days starting September 26 during the National Day holiday, up 8.7 percent from last year. --(9/19)
Some sportswear in Shanghai has been found to have too high a pH index.
Columbia Sportsware trousers sold at the Grand Gateway had a pH index of nine, which could cause skin allergies, the Shanghai Industrial and Commercial Administrative Bureau said. --(9/18)
Expressways closed for night work
Several elevated roads are being closed for maintenance from midnight to 5am through Sunday.
The first set of roads was shut down yesterday: the exit of Zhongshan Road N2 on the Yixian Elevated Road, the Zhoujiazui Road to Guangzhong Road section of the Inner Ring Road and the Tianshan Road W. to Jinshajiang Road section of the Middle Ring Road.
Starting at midnight today, the targeted roads are the Xujiahui Road to Weihai Road stretch of the North-South Elevated Road, from the Bund to Jiangsu Road on the Yan'an Elevated Road, Zhongshan Road N2 to Jinian Road on the Yixian Elevated Road, the Guangzhong Road exit of the Inner Ring Road and the Yixian Road to Guoding Road portion on the Middle Ring Road.
Roads to be closed at midnight tomorrow will be Xujiahui Road to Luban Road on the North-South Elevated Road, Longhua Road to Tianyaoqiao Road on the Inner Ring Road, Shangzhong Road W. to Wuzhong Road on the Middle Ring Road. --(9/17)
Cheap signs a danger signal
City traffic police are warning drivers not to buy inferior break-down warning signs from small stores because they could result in serious accidents.
The reflective, triangle-type signs are put up around a disabled vehicle along a roadway to warn other cars and trucks. Such signs should be able to reflect enough light that they can be seen 350 meters away at night, according to a standard set in 2003 by National Standardization Administration Committee of China.
But authorities have discovered that many drivers are buying shoddy signboards at low prices at small auto part stores.
On the Middle Ring Road expressway, for instance, a driver whose van broke down reportedly said he bought his triangle sign from a second-hand market days ago for only 10 yuan (US$1.46).
At some automotive parts markets in the city, almost all the shops were selling inferior warning signs. --(9/16)
Work has begun on a steel bridge across Huangpu River.
The new overpass, called Songpu No. 3 Bridge, will connect Songjiang District to suburban areas in Pudong. --(9/15)
Festival opens in grand style
Shanghai welcomed the start of its annual tourism festival last night in fine style with a grand parade and traditional fireworks.
More than 400,000 people cheered the opening ceremony of the 19th Shanghai Tourism Festival, despite rain spells courtesy of typhoon Sinlaku.
Spectators watched 21 floats parade along Huaihai Road in Luwan District and 28 performing squads from both home and abroad. Almost all the floats were decorated with fresh, colorful, flowers in keeping with this year's "floral" theme.
Haibao, the 2010 World Expo mascot, was the first float to arrive at the main stage and was given a rousing cheer by spectators.
It was followed by a squad of huge performing puppets representing different nationalities and marking Shanghai's welcome to Expo. --(9/14)
A Japanese-style food fair opened yesterday afternoon on Wujiang Road, a renowned spot for food and beverages. The week-long fair is a part of a three-week long shopping carnival in Jing'an District that runs until October 5. --(9/13)
Metro line gears up for fast lane
Train intervals on Metro Line 9 will be reduced from at least 12 minutes to only two minutes during the 2010 World Expo after the line's extension is put into service, one of the project operators revealed yesterday.
Line 9 currently runs from Songjiang New Town to Guilin Road, in the south of the city.
The extension is planned to operate between Yishan Road and Pudong.
The extended line will connect Songjiang with the Xujiahui and Huamu areas, which are two of the city's major residential and commercial hubs.
It will also run past Lujiazui and large residential areas along Yanggao Road in Pudong.
The latest capacity improvement efforts have reduced the shortest interval on Line 9 to 12.5 minutes. --(9/12)
Rehearsal closes roads
Temporary traffic controls will be in place around Huaihai Road tomorrow and on Saturday for the rehearsal and opening ceremony of the 2008 Shanghai Tourism Festival, police said yesterday.
Motor vehicles and bicycles will be banned on Saturday on Huaihai Road M. between Xizang Road S. and Songshan Road from 5pm to 9:30pm, between Songshan Road and Madang Road from 6pm to 9:30pm, and between Madang Road and Shaanxi Road from 6pm to 9:30pm.
From 7:30pm on Saturday, crossroads along Huaihai Road will be closed. Huaihai Road M. between Xizang Road and Chongqing Road will be closed from 10pm on Friday to 2am on Saturday.
Longmen Road (between Jinling Road M. and Huaihai Road M.) will be closed from 10pm on Friday to 9:30pm on Saturday.
Liulin Road (between Jinling Road M. and Shouning Road), Pu'an Road (between Jinling Road M. and Taoyuan Road), Taoyuan Road (between Xizang Road S. and Pu'an Road) and Wangting Road will be closed on Friday from 5pm to 9:30pm.
The south-north highway's off-ramp on Huaihai Road will be closed on Saturday from 7:30pm to 9:30pm. --(9/11)
Smokers, spitters, jaywalkers lamented
Smoking in public places is the most offensive habit among local citizens, followed by jaywalking, littering and spitting, according to a citywide online survey.
And if the local government has its way, Shanghai residents will soon get lessons in manners so they'll be ready to greet visitors to the 2010 World Expo.
The survey on public behavior was conducted by SM mail, a municipal government Website.
More than 5,000 citizens responded to questions during the 15-day long online investigation. They were asked questions on the kind of public behavior that offended them the most.
The government then short-listed smoking, jaywalking, littering and spitting as the worst kinds of public behavior that need to be tackled before the Expo. The mechanics of the campaign remain to be worked out.
At least 85 percent of the respondents listed smoking in public places as the most distasteful habit. A Netizen said these people subject others to the harmful effects of passive smoking while ruining their own health.
Even so, only 14 percent of those surveyed said they would make an effort to stop people from smoking in public.
More than 70 percent of the respondents said that they would simply tolerate bad behavior for fear of creating trouble. --(9/10)
Cloud-top scalpers in hot water
The World Financial Center has increased security guards around the tower to prevent ticket scalpers from bilking visitors to the globe's third-tallest building.
Center officials said they've found some scalpers cheating visitors by selling tickets to the 94th-story observatory at the higher price for the 100th-floor view. The two tickets have a price difference of 50 yuan (US$7.31). Some visitors are buying tickets from scalpers to avoid waiting in line for 20 minutes or so.
The tower will start receiving tour groups on September 17. Shanghai CYTS Tours has begun accepting bookings. --(9/9)
The main structure of Metro Line 13 tunnel across Huangpu River was completed yesterday, said Shanghai Construction Group.
Line 13 will be the main route to the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. --(9/8)
Haibao, a mascot of the 2010 World Expo, was erected on the Lupu Bridge in Shanghai yesterday. As host of Expo, the city has prepared a series of activities to mark the 600-day countdown starting tomorrow. --(9/7)
Looking for a music man
The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra is looking for a new music director, and Chinese from around the world are being urged to apply.
The present director, Chen Xieyang, is leaving the post.
The results of the job search will be announced in a month by the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Council, which is coordinating the search.
Applicants should be well known in the music field, and they are required to have experience working as a music director for an influential orchestra. The winning candidate will be given a two-year contract and will be responsible for appointing candidates to other important orchestra posts, such as conductors. --(9/6)
Mega-station set for Metro
Shanghai's biggest Metro station is now being built in Xuhui District to host connections between the future Line 7 and 12.
The station is located 100 meters from the Huangpu River between Zhongshan No. 2 Road S. and Longhua Road in Xuhui District.
Builders said they will soon finish the major structures for Line 7, which will be ready for trial operation by end of next year. The Metro authority has not announced when the line will be in full operation, however.
The future station will cover an area of more than 60,000 square meters, the size of three average Metro stations.
Passengers can expect a spacious concourse up to 25 meters wide. A 6,000-square-meter transfer hall is also being built for commuters to connect between Line 7 and 12.
Line 7 will become an important Metro link for the 2010 World Expo. It will connect Baoshan District with Pudong and run across the World Expo Zone on both sides of the Huangpu River. Line 12 will run between Minhang District and Pudong and is expected to be completed by 2012. --(9/5)
City cheers its golden heroes
FOUR Beijing Olympic gold medalists from Shanghai arrived home yesterday and received a hero's welcome at Hongqiao Airport.
The golden quartet are Wu Minxia, winner of the women's 3-meter synchronized springboard Huo Liang, winner of men's synchronized 10m platform Liu Zige, winner and world record breaker in the women's 200m butterfly and Zou Shiming, the 48kg boxing champion. --(9/4)
Bike lane plan gets test run in Hongkou
Hongkou District will test a series of bicycle lanes on smaller roads running parallel to main thoroughfares.
Shanghai will build a bicycle network with 25 lanes ?? 13 south-north and 12 west-east ?? within the Outer Ring Road, which encloses the 600-square-kilometer downtown area ?? if the Hongkou trial is a success, the city's urban planning authorities said yesterday.
There are an estimated 10 million bicycles and scooters in the city.
But cyclists in Shanghai face many obstacles ?? narrow lanes, car exhaust fumes, sharing roads with motorbikes and bike thieves.
Most cycle lanes are not linked to each other or are too narrow.
According to the Hongkou District government's plan, new bicycle lanes will be established on smaller roads parallel to main thoroughfares and will link Metro stations through the district. Cyclists can ride to stations to catch the Metro.
Hongkou has been chosen as the trial area for the program because it has a large number of bikes but few roads that offer easy access for cyclists. --(9/3)
Stranded fliers return home
Twenty-three Shanghai tourists stranded on the Thai island of Phuket after protesters shut down the airport on Friday returned home yesterday.
Another 10 tourists remain stranded on Phuket. After a 12-hour bus trip, the 23 arrived at Bangkok airport where they boarded a flight to Shanghai. The Shanghai Tourism Administrative Commission said all tourists were safe. --(9/2)
Train line launches to Luchao
A new passenger train was launched yesterday between Shanghai South Railway Station to Luchao Harbor on the coast of the East China Sea.
The service will benefit thousands of employees working at major factories around the harbor as well as college students studying there.
The first train left at 9:08am yesterday from Shanghai South Railway Station, carrying more than 300 workers living in Jinshan and Fengxian districts in Pudong to their factories.
The train leaves at 7:05am and 2pm from Shanghai South Railway Station every day and returns from Luchao Harbor at 10:43am and 5:25pm.
A one-way trip takes about 70 minutes and costs 17 yuan (US$2.48). Each nine-carriage train can carry more than 800 passengers.
The rail track was previously used for cargo transport, and has been upgraded to allow trains to travel at 120 kilometers an hour, said officials with Shanghai Railway Administration. Safety measures have been upgraded at level crossings, they said. --(9/1)