Taking the Subway in Shanghai Requires a Token and a Prayer

Recent crashes involving the subway in Shanghai has caused speculation that the rails are unsafe and poorly built.
October 1, 2011, 11am PDT | Cathie Pagano
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A collision between two subway trains on September 27 that injured more than 280 people prompted Adam Minter to give his personal experience using the Shanghai rail system.

"...Bungling conductors who often ignore signals and don't line up train cars with platform doors. One day, a train car's glass doors spontaneously shattered. Another day, a conductor led a train down the wrong track, only to then make the dangerous decision to back the train up."

He notes that, "As Shanghai's housing prices rise, residents have little choice but to move further and further away from the city center. They rely on the subway lines to get to work, but the lines were built quickly and shoddily. A common feeling among Shanghai's commuters is that the subway was not designed to serve them, but to enhance the status of Shanghai's Communist Party leaders."

Thanks to Cathie Pagano

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Published on Thursday, September 29, 2011 in Bloomberg
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