7 metro lines have been put to operation in Shanghai, plus a maglev line, connecting the suburbs with the center of the city.
I like traveling by metro. One of the major reasons is that it is punctual, unless there is a breakdown of the train, which can be fixed within a few minutes or a dozen minutes. But be sure not to get up too late, the trains run at longer intervals in off hours.
Another reason is that whatever is outside, be it pouring rain or scorching sun, it is comparatively cozy inside the metro. Sometimes I also take a bus home, but if there is heavy rain or blazing sunshine, I will not consider buses.
Besides, it is a place where many stories happen. Actually quite a few TV series have been made based upon stories that happen on the metro. Sometimes one can meet an old friend who has disappeared for quite a long time and has an interesting chat. Sometimes one can see the busy Shanghai people learning English or other subjects. I once saw a foreigner studying Chinese on the metro. Reading newspapers, playing PSP, listening to music and talking on the mobile phones are commonplace. Do people want to kill time or make good use of every minute? Either is possible, or even both. I, however, like to watch other people on the metro. When I was still living on campus and working for Dow, every morning I met a French lady. We got on the carriage at the same station, we never talked, but whenever I met her, I gave a friendly smile. Maybe she had noticed that, or maybe not. It does not matter, as I do not have a crush on her. But no one would be unhappy about standing beside a graceful lady. Then I moved to another area of Shanghai, and then moved back again, but I never saw her again. Maybe she has moved, too. Who knows?
But as one of the main pitfalls, it is extremely crowded on the train at rush hours. It is said that you cannot move at all on Metro Line 1 in the morning. I seldom take Line 1, but I am familiar with Line 2 and Line 3. Sometimes I cannot get on the metro because there is no room on the metro. Last week, I saw a foreigner taking the photo of the door cannot close because a passenger's bag gets stuck in the door. I do not know the purpose of his doing so, but I did not stop him. Maybe he had not seen so crowded scene on the metro before. Last summer, I was standing beside a foreign man with two kids. It was a bit suffocating in the carriage, one of the kids said, "I cannot breathe." So they got of at the next station. The senior citizens aged above 70 can travel by metro for free, but the question is, who dare? At least I will not do that when I reach 70.
On December 29, Line 6, 8 and 9 were put to operation. It is now even more convenient to travel by metro, because there are more lines available and more transfer stations. I myself have benefited a lot from Line 8, as I can save about 50 minutes every day if I take Line 8. So if you want to have coffee with me, please make an appointment in advance, I will tell you to get off from which stop of Line 8.