Author Archives: matt

2023/2024 year-end updates for ExploreMetro maps

Tap, tap, is this thing still on?

As usual, there are several new extensions openings in China at the end of the year.

Beijing Metro Expansions

The capital city is gearing up for significant additions to its metro network by the end of December. This will extend the system from 807 km to 836 km, overtaking Shanghai again!

  • Line 11 Extension: Just one extra station, extending from Jin’anqiao to Moshikou
  • Line 16 Expansion: The extension from Yushuzhuang will now include two new stations – Hongtaizhuang and Wanpingcheng
  • Line 17 New Route: A brand new segment from Workers Stadium to Future Science City North. This will run seperately from the existing southern section of Line 17 for now, with the middle section opening later.
  • Interchange at Suzhou Jie: A new interchange will open between Lines 10 and 16 at Suzhou Jie
Small but beautiful, the Line 11 extension
Two new stations on Line 16
New Line 17 segment

Shenzhen Line 8 Extension

  • Opening Date: 27th December 2023
  • Line 8 Extension: This extension runs from Yantian Road to Xiaomeisha, covering a distance of approximately 8 kilometers
More stations on the east end of Line 8

Guangzhou Metro Additions

  • Opening Date: 28th December 2023
  • Line 5 Extension: A new stretch Wenchong to Huangpu New Port, spanning 9.8 kilometers.
  • Line 7 Extension: A 19.9-kilometer extension from Higher Education Mega Center South to Yanshan
Several new stations on Line 7 and Line 5 give a new look to the east side of the GZ Metro Map

The new extensions to Line 5 and Line 7 introduce a number of new interchanges such as Xiayuan (5/13), Yufengwei (7/13), Dashadong (5/7), Luogang (6/7) and Shuixi (7/21).

As usual expect updates to our iOS apps, Android apps and website shortly.

2019/2020 year-end updates for ExploreMetro maps

As usual, many of the metro systems around Asia are opening new lines and extensions in the last few days of the year. I’m working hard to get the different maps updated as soon as possible, please bear with me as ExploreMetro is a one-person operation, and I have a newborn baby to look after 🙂 Apple also shut down the submission of new apps over Christmas, so there’s a backlog to get new apps approved.

Here’s a summary of the lines and extensions already open during December 2019/January 2020 and the current status on the ExploreMetro apps. If you think I missed anything, please shoot me an email to

Updated now on all platforms:

  • Bangkok – 04 Dec 2019 – Sukhumvit Line, Ha Yaek Lat Phrao – Kasetsart University MAPS UPDATED on web, iOS and Android!
  • Bangkok – 04 Dec 2019 – Blue Line, Tao Poon – Sirindhorn MAPS UPDATED on web, iOS and Android!
  • Shenzhen – 08 Dec 2019 – Line 9, Hongshuwan South – Qianwan MAPS UPDATED on web, iOS and Android!
  • Guangzhou 20 Dec 2019 – Line 21, Yuancun – Zhenlongxi MAPS UPDATED on web, iOS and Android
  • Bangkok – 23 Dec 2019 – Blue Line, Sirindhorn – Tha Phra MAPS UPDATED on web and iOS and Android
  • Beijing – 28-30 Dec 2019, Line 7, Jiaohuachang – Huazhuang + Shuangjing and Batong Line, Tuqiao – Huazhuang, Line 13 Qinghe station MAPS UPDATED on web, iOS and Android!
  • Guangzhou – 28 Dec 2019, Line 8, Fenghuang Xincun – Cultural Park MAPS UPDATED on web, iOS and Android!
  • Taipei – 19 Jan 2020, Circular Line (Yellow) – New Taipei Industrial Park to Dapinglin MAPS UPDATED on web, Android and iOS!
  • Singapore – 31 Jan 2020, Thomson–East Coast Line, Woodlands North – Woodlands South MAPS UPDATED on web, Android and iOS!

Opening soon:

  • Hong Kong – 14 Feb 2020, Tuen Ma Line, Tai Wai to Kai Tak

Beijing Subway opens Daxing Airport Express to new airport

On September 28, 2019 a new express metro line opened in Beijing linking to the new Daxing Airport. The Daxing Airport Express runs from Caoqiao on the Third Ring Road, an interchange with Line 10, to Daxing Airport, a total of about 40km, with a single journey taking about 30 minutes. There is one intermediate stop at Daxing Xincheng. A single journey from Caoqiao to the airport costs 35 RMB.

The line is colored blue on the map:

To avoid confusion, the Airport Express train to the existing Beijing Capital Airport will now be referred to as the Capital Airport Express.

We’ve already updated our online Beijing Subway map with the new line, and updates to our iOS and Android apps will be available soon.

Shenzhen Line 5 extended to Chiwan, new interchange with Line 2

Shenzhen’s Metro received its first extension for three years with the September 28, 2019 opening of the Line 5 extension. The 7.7km extension continues from Qianhaiwan station, an existing interchange with Line 1 and 11, via six new stations, to a new interchange with Line 2 at Chiwan.

The line will reduce travel times between Bao’an, Qianhai, and Shekou. In future, there will be additional interchanges to Line 9 at Qianwan station and Line 15 at Railway Park Station.

Our online Shenzhen metro map is already updated, and there will be updates for our iOS and Android apps shortly!

Should Bangkok subsidise public transport costs?

The idea of a flat fare for Bangkok public transport has recently resurfaced. Since the operation of the BTS and MRT is contracted out to private companies (BTS Group, and Bangkok Expressway and Metro PCL respectively), this would likely only be possible if the government agreed to subsidize the private operators for the loss of farebox revenue.

Let’s do some back of the envelope calculations on how much this would cost based on publically available information from the BTS and MRT.

The BTS Skytrain carries around 240 million trips per year, with farebox revenue of THB 7 billion, an average fare of fare THB 29 per trip.

The MRT carries around 115 million trips per year, with farebox revenue of about THB 3 billion and an average fare of about THB 25.

If there was a flat fare of 15 baht, and the government to fully reimburse the private operators for the cost of each trip, then each journey would need to be subsidised by about 14 baht on the BTS and 10 baht on the MRT, a total subsidy of about 4.5 billion baht. About 75% of the subsidy would be for the BTS, due to higher ridership and higher fares.

However this assumes that lower fares would have no effect on ridership numbers. In practice, we could realistically assume a 10-20% increase in ridership after a fare cut, bringing the subsidy above 5 billion per annum. The opening of future lines like the Yellow and Pink lines will further increase ridership.

How could the cost of the subsidy be limited? There are two obvious ways. First it’s likely the government could agree a lower subsidy per ride in exchange for the future increase of passenger numbers. Second, the flat fare could be slightly higher. A flat fare of 20 baht instead of 15 baht would only require a subsidy of 2.7 billion baht instead of 4.5 billion baht.

Is this worth it? The pros and cons of subsidised public transportation have been debated at length. It’s clear that Bangkok suffers from heavy negative externalities from excessive motorbike and car use in the form of heavy pollution and congestion, so if the fare cut could bring commuters off the roads and onto public transport, perhaps. A 2016 study found the economic costs of Bangkok’s traffic was 11 billion baht per year.

New extensions to MRT Blue Line and BTS Sukhumvit Line

In August 2019 two of Bangkok’s mass transit lines will receive extensions.

First, the MRT Blue Line will be extended by 5 stations to the west of its current terminus at Hua Lampong: calling at Wat Mangkon, Sam Yot and Sanam Chai, before crossing the river with further stops at Itsaraphap and Tha Phra.

It will be free to take rides on the MRT between Wat Mangkon and Tha Phra during the test runs.

Several of the new stations have impressive designs, such as the Wat Mangkon station (in Bangkok’s Chinatown) which is modelled after a Chinese temple.

Photo from BKKTrains Facebook group

This is just the first phase of ambitious expansion plans for the MRT Blue Line in the next 12 months. In September, it’s planned to open a further 6-station extension west from Tha Phra to Lak Song. This extension will interchange with the BTS Silom Line at Bang Wa.

Additionally, in March 2020, another branch will run north from Tha Phra to Tao Poon, finally completing the Blue Line’s circular loop.

Separately this August, the BTS Sukhumvit Line will be extended by one station north of the current terminus at Mo Chit, to Ha Yaek Lat Phrao (Lat Phrao Interchange). This station will provide an additional interchange with the MRT Blue Line at Phahon Yothin station.

It’s nice to see Bangkok’s metro lines finally extending, and more importantly interchanging with each other! Look out for updates to our Bangkok BTS/MRT map online, on iOS and Android soon!

Extensions to Line 6 and Line 8 in Beijing

There were several new openings on December 30, 2018 on the Beijing Subway.

Line 6 has been extended an additional four stations west from its old terminus at Haidian Wuluju to Jin’anqiao. This provides an interchange to the S1 Maglev line, which was previously disconnected from the rest of the network. In future there will also be an interchange with Line 1 at Pingguoyuan.

Line 8 has opened a new southern extension. At the moment, it is disconnected from the other part of Line 8, so the lines will run as two separate services. There are useful interchanges to Line 7 at Zhushikou and Line 14 at Yongdingmenwai, and in future there will be an interchange to Line 10 at Dahongmen. The line continues to a new terminus at Yinghai.

There are also a few additional infill stations. The Yizhuang Line is extended one stop to Yizhuang Railway station, Line 6 adds a new station at Beiyunhe East, Line 7 adds a new station at Fatou, and the northern part of Line 8 is extended by one station to National Art Museum.

We’re busy updating all our maps to add the new stations. Check here for status updates!

  • Web: Not ready yet
  • iOS: Not ready yet
  • Android: Not ready yet

New stations on Line 14, Line 21 and Guangfo Line in Guangzhou

The Guangzhou Metro opened three new lines and extensions on December 28, 2018. Line 14 has been extended and connected to the rest of the system, Line 21 is a brand new line, and the Guangfo Line has been extended.

Last year when the Knowledge City branch line of Line 14 opened it was disconnected from the rest of the Guangzhou Metro network. The good news is that the main branch of the line has now opened, connecting to Line 2 and Line 3 at Jiahewanggang. To transfer to the Knowledge City branch, change trains at Xinhe.

Additionally, Line 21 has now opened, extending from the end of the Knowledge City branch at Zhenlong. The 9 stations of the line help connect Zengcheng District, the last of the districts of Guangzhou to receive metro service.

The Guangfo intercity line which connects Guangzhou and Foshan has also received an extension. The segment from Yangang — Lijiao adds additional useful interchanges with Line 2 at Nanzhou and Line 3 at Lijiao.

We are busy working on updates for the web version, Android version and iOS version and will update here when each is available:

Line 5 and Line 13 extensions open in Shanghai

New extensions to Line 5 and Line 13 have opened on the Shanghai Metro on December 30, 2018.

There are 8 new stations on Line 5, making the line into a “Y” shape. The new stations extend the line into Fengxian District, with a new terminus at Fengxian Xincheng.

Line 13 has been further extended into Pudong. There are new interchanges with Line 7 at Changqing Road, Line 8 at Chengshan Road, Line 6 at Dongming Road and Line 16 at Middle Huaxia Road, with a new terminus at Zhangjiang Road.

We’re busy updating our maps to show the new lines and will update this blog post when the new lines are available on web, Android and iOS: