The Guangzhou Metro has rolled out several new services recently, including new metro routes, free WiFi, and ticket purchasing through smartphones. The metro is working continually at becoming more convenient and human-friendly.
Three spanking-new metro lines (or sections of lines)— the entirely new Line 7, phase two of Line 6, and phase two of the Guangzhou-Foshan Line — bring the total length of the metro system to 308.7 kilometers. This length ranks third in China right after Shanghai and Beijing and places Guangzhou among the top longest metro systems in the world.
The Guangzhou metro reached a punctuality rate of 99.91 percent by 2015. It ranks first in operational safety, third in service reliability and fourth in capacity utilization among the world’s 32 largest metro systems, according to the latest data released by Community of Metros.
Guangzhou Metro now is noted for the following characteristics: its conspicuous signage, short waiting interval, allowance for drinking and eating, the addition of identifying serial numbers that make it easy for people to find stations, free WiFi, and supporting ticket purchase via mobile phone.
1. Conspicuous signs for metro stations
You easily can find metro station signs along local streets that are eye-catching for their bright red color.
2. Short waiting interval
It normally takes passengers a little more than 2 or 3 minutes to wait for the next train.
3. Identifying serial numbers
Guangzhou Metro officially added illustrative serial numbers to all signs, platforms and platform screen doors throughout the network last August 29 to help the elderly, kids, expats and others more easily recognize and identify various metro stations and lines.
4. Drinking and eating
People are permitted to bring and eat food in the metro, as long as it is not pungent-smelling or potentially harmful tableware such as knives and forks. This new policy was introduced on November 17, 2016, according to the Communications Commission of Guangzhou Municipality.
5. Free WiFi
The Guangzhou metro network has offered free WiFi since December 28. Anyone can get access to the WiFi by first downloading the application Huasheng metro WIFI (花生地铁WIFI) in their mobile phones.
Then a login interface would pop up, and users can input their phone numbers and verification codes that they receive. A simple click of the “Access to the Internet” button, and there you go.
6. Ticket purchase via mobile phone
First, scan the QR code of the official account of the Guangzhou Metro, or download its official application, then purchase a ticket by following the instructions.
Second, the voucher is generated.
Finally, collect a ticket and take the train.
Metro authorities opened phase two of Line 6, the new Line 7 and phase two of the Guangzhou-Foshan Line on December 28. Since Line 7 is brand new, let’s take a look at it.
With a total length of 18.6 kilometers in its initial phase, Line 7 runs from Guangzhou South Railway Station to Higher Education Mega Center South Station, through 7 other stations including Shibi, Xiecun, Zhongcun, Hanxi Changlong, Nancun Wanbo, Yuangang and, Banqiao.
Line 2 and Line 7 have two interchange stations — at Guangzhou South Railway Station and Shibi — so how should you choose?
If you are in a hurry, Shibi is a better option because you don’t have to travel another one to two stations.
But if you carry too much luggage and long for a seat, you might prefer to interchange at Guangzhou South Railway Station.
(By Zoe Xu, Louis Berney)