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Friday, August 15, 2008

Subway system in Beijing - Olympics

Annie is in Beijing. Not me, it's another Annie who is over for the Olympics and saw my post about whether the
London Underground will be ready to cope with Olympics in 2012 when they come here. She's written a great piece about the subway over in Beijing with some fab photos. So over to Annie:

"I'm Annie as well (clearly). I'm in Beijing for the Olympics and as a long-time reader (okay, a year), I felt compelled to take some photos of the Beijing system.

Subway ticket by London Annie

I hope this isn't too rambly, but thought you'd be interested given your recent post about London's preparation (or lack thereof).

They've recently had an overhaul, which is visible in the Chinese/English signage and new tube trains. Given the heat, they've brought in air-conditioned carriages. Bliss!

The running is going very well given the number of people here for the Olympics. Changes are easy to make and everything is clearly signed, including which stairs take you to an exit and which take you to another tube line.

I couldn't get a photo of security, but they're scanning all bags with an x-ray and it's all going very quickly. And I have to say, they have thought well ahead by making gates (not all, but a number at each station) that are wide enough for wheelchairs and luggage to go through where you can still use your card to enter on your own. No passing your bag through a hole or waiting for someone to open the locked door for you. Brilliant.

With an Olympic ticket, you can get free travel on any public transport the same day as your event. You show your ticket at the station and they give you a single journey ticket to get to your destination. Then when you want to go somewhere else, they just hand you another.

Subway handle by London Annie

Everything is 2008 branded and although they've also updated their signs about not leaning on the doors, I did see a great older one of a bleeding finger (we're talking big drops of blood) on the door. Unfortunately, I couldn't get my camera out before we got off.

Queue Here by London Annie

There are queuing marks on the floors, which everyone follows, but as soon as the doors open, you're pretty much pushed on (before the rest have gotten off!).

And I have to say, I'm pretty impressed with the new stop markings in the newer carriages (many of which look like 8-car trains but are actually 4 cars that are twice as long, joined like a bendy bus in the middle).

Subway update by London Annie

This is Line 2 and not only does it tell you the stop and interchanges, it also tells you which side the doors will open on and which direction you're going (clockwise or anti-clockwise).
"

Annie's husband thinks she's crazy for doing this and taking the photos, but I think she's great. She said that she may have more pictures of the public transport there, so it's worth keeping an eye on her Flickr stream. Thanks Annie - you rock!


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