Author Archives: matt

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:

Beijing Subway Line S1 opens

We’re rounding out 2017 with a preview of the new lines expected to open in China before the end of the year. Typically new lines open in the last few days of December, and details about the exact timetables and station details are only announced on opening day.

Today we have a sneak preview of the Line S1 in Beijing which opens today.

The S1 is the first metro line in China to use Maglev technology. It runs in western Beijing in Shijingshan and Mentougou districts.

Unfortunately, the line currently does not connect to the rest of the Beijing Subway system. In future it will connect with Line 1 at Pingguoyuan and Line 6 at both Pingguoyuan and Jin’anqiao stations.

Updates to our metro maps online, for Android and for iOS are rolling out over the next few days.

Pujiang Line delayed until early 2018

The opening of the Pujiang Line in Shanghai has been pushed back to the first quarter of 2018 as more time is needed to test driverless operation.

Some more information about the new line has now been published: it will appear grey on the official metro map, and upon opening, Shendu Highway station, the interchange with Line 8, will be renamed to Pujiang Country Park (浦江郊野公园) after the park of the same name.

Pujiang Country Park

Here’s the updated metro map

Updates to our metro maps online, for Android and for iOS will be available soon!