Category Archives: beijing

Introducing Material Design for our Android metro maps

We’ve just updated all of our ExploreMetro Android apps with a style update inspired by the new Google Material Design patterns.

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You’ll see more consistent use of colour throughout the apps: for example Shanghai uses a blue theme with a blue icon, blue toolbar and blue highlights, while Singapore is purple and Beijing is red.

It’s also even easier to plan a route, just tap the big circular Plan Route button (in orange in the screenshot below) to start planning a route.

We’ve also taken the opportunity to roll out some other updates, with station and first/last train time updates for Shanghai, and updated journey prices for Singapore. Find any issues with the latest updates? Get in touch

Asia’s best metro maps: now free forever on iPhone

 

Every app. Free Forever. I’m excited to announce that starting today, all our iPhone metro maps apps are free to download. Whether you need a metro map for Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Singapore, Seoul, or Taipei – both iPhone and Android apps can be downloaded free of charge. This is not a temporary promotion, all our apps are free, forever.

It’s been five years since I launched the first version of Explore Shanghai for iPhone, and a lot has changed in the app market. Most apps are now free to download, and people’s appetite for paid apps is declining. I’m still confident that the ExploreMetro apps are Asia’s best metro maps, and with your help they can be the most popular too!

If you download an app for the first time, you can use nearly all the features of the app for free, including search, route-planning and street maps. Certain features such as first/last train times, audio pronunciations of stations and offline street maps are now premium features. You can upgrade any app to VIP mode to get all premium features, and remove banner ads.

If you’ve ever downloaded a paid version of the app you are entitled to continue using all the premium features for free, forever. If you have any problems restoring your purchase, please contact us!

Tell your friends… tell the world… Asia’s best metro maps are now FREE!

Beijing Subway Line 8 gets longer

Beijing Subway’s Line 8 is scheduled to receive two extensions this December! The northern extension connects Line 8 with the Changping Line, with a cross-platform interchange at Zhuxinzhuang. There are new stations at Pingxifu and Yuzhilu.

Screenshot 2013-12-23 07.52.16

The southern extension adds three stations at Shichahai, Nanluoguxiang (now an interchange with Line 6), with the terminal station at National Art Museum.
Screenshot 2013-12-23 07.52.32

 

In the future (by around 2017), Line 8 will continue futher south, through Wangfujing, Qianmen and beyond.

Meanwhile, interchanges between Line 1 and Line 9 are now possible at Military Museum station.

Beijing Subway expert David Feng reports that interchange times are around 5 minutes for Line 1 to Line 9 and 8-10 minutes from Line 9 to Line 1. The interchange passageway is well-lit with wide corridors, but includes steep stairs!

military-museum

 

Updates to our online map, iPhone and Android apps will be available soon!

Beijing Subway Line 10 completed, and Line 14 opens for Garden Expo

May 2013 brings two new openings for the Beijing Subway! Beijing Subway Line 10, a major loop line around the city opened at the start of 2013, but two stations were missing. Those two stations: Fengtai Railway Station and Niwa are now ready for passengers. That means you can now take a subway train all the way around the loop – a full circuit takes over 1.5 hours! Train frequency has also been increased to a headway of 2 minutes 15 seconds at peak times.

There’s also a brand new subway line, Line 14 heads west from Xiju station (interchange with line 10), running 12.6km to its terminus at Zhangguozhuang (张郭庄). Line 14 has 6 stations in the initial phase, all in Fengtai District; trains do not currently stop at Qilizhuang station (七里庄), which will be a future interchange with Line 9 and should open by the end of 2013.

One of the main reasons to take Line 14 is to visit the Beijing Garden Expo. There’s a dedicated station, Garden Expo Park, for accessing the Expo.

Here’s a map of the new stations! Stay tuned for updates to our online map and apps for iPhone and Android shortly!

Line 10 and 14

New apps for 2013 for Beijing Subway and Shanghai Metro

We’re fast approaching the end of the year, and the Beijing Subway and Shanghai Metro are making final preparations for the new lines opening.

In Shanghai, Line 13 is undergoing testing, and three new stations on Line 9 should also open shortly, around December 28th. The Shanghai Metro company have announced that two stations (Daduhe Road and South Qilianshan Road) will not open in the initial phase of Line 13 however.

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Meanwhile in Beijing, 4 new lines are getting ready: Line 6, plus extensions to Line 8, Line 9 and Line 10Screen Shot 2012-12-27 at 23.30.05. All are planned to open on the afternoon of December 30th. One caveat is that the interchange station between Line 1 and Line 9 at Military Museum is not open yet, so trains will not stop at this station on Line 9. Our maps will show Military Museum on Line 1 only for the time being.

We’ve just launched updates to our online interactive maps at ExploreShanghai.com and ExploreBJ.com to show you the latest lines. This includes station names in English and Chinese, and an updated route-planner. Do check out the Metropedia pages for the new construction like Cishousi and Songjiang South Railway Station.

Screen Shot 2012-12-27 at 23.40.34

Some information like first/last train times and prices for Shanghai are not yet available and will be added soon. If you see any missing information, please do contact us with links or data to fill in the gaps!

We’ve also updated our Android app for Beijing and Android app for Shanghai with the new lines. And iPhone users, we haven’t forgotten you! Due to the App Store approval process, it will take around 1-2 weeks to get the new versions of our iPhone apps approved. We hope to have them ready for you by early January!

Beijing Subway Line 6: relief at last

This week we’re previewing the new lines expected to open in Shanghai and  Beijing in December 2012. Today, Beijing Line 6!

The only completely new line opening in Beijing this year is Line 6. It’s significant because it runs parallel to Beijing’s oldest subway line, the ageing and overcrowded Line 1. Line 6 will have key interchanges with all the lines in central Beijing, including two interchanges with Line 10, two with Line 2, one with Line 4 at Ping’anli and one with Line 5 at Dongsi, and one with Line 9 at Baishiqiao South. There’s also easy access to the famous Nanluoguxiang Hutong.

All stations are due to open in late 2012, so Line 6 should look something like this (click to enlarge!):

Beijing Subway Line 9: Not so lonely any more

This week we’re previewing the new lines expected to open in Shanghai and  Beijing in December 2012. Today, Beijing Line 9!

Poor Beijing Subway Line 9 is a bit of an oddity. Although it opened last year, it only currently connects with the suburban Fangshan Line, passengers arriving at its current northern terminus at Beijing West Railway Station need to walk or take a bus to Line 1.

That’s all about to change with not one, but four new interchange stations. The existing station at Liuliqiao will link to the new Line 10 extension, while there are new interchange stations with Line 1 at Military Museum, Line 6 at Baishiqiao South and Line 4 at National Library.

Line 9 should look like this by the end of the year (click to enlarge!):

Beijing Subway Line 8: The Olympic Line gets longer

This week we’re previewing the new lines expected to open in Shanghai and  Beijing in December 2012. Today, Beijing Line 8!

Beijing Subway Line 8 initially opened with a small stretch between Beitucheng and South Gate of Forest Park in time for the 2008 Olympics, and ferried spectators to the Olympic Stadium. Last year a northern extension connected it to Line 13 at Huoying, and this year we expect a southern extension which should connect Line 8 to Line 2 at Guoloudajie, making Line 8 much more accessible from central Beijing. There are two intervening stations between Beitucheng and Guoloudajie: Anhuaqiao should open in December, while Andelibeijie will open at a later date.

Line 8 should look like this by the end of the year (click to enlarge!):

Beijing Subway Line 10: “If you like it then you should have put a ring round it”

This week we’re previewing the new lines expected to open in Shanghai and  Beijing in December 2012. Today, Beijing Line 10!

Beijing Subway Line 10 is an impressive engineering feat. By late 2013 it will form an outer ring around Beijing, with 45 stations including 24 interchange stations! The total track length of 57km will make it the longest circular metro line in the world by our calculations, beating out the circular part of Seoul’s Metro Line 2.

Roughly half the line (the north and east parts of the loop) has been running since 2008, and in December 2012 it’s expected that most of the rest of the loop will open, save for a break in the circle in the south west corner, where Niwa and Fengtai Railway Station will open later in 2013. Jiaomen East station is also expected to be delayed. That means Line 10 will look something like this by the end of the year (click to enlarge):

 

 

Subway shootout: will Shanghai or Beijing finish the year with a longer metro system?

Beijing and Shanghai are fierce rivals. Both cities have dramatically increased the length of their subway networks in recent years, especially around Beijing’s 2008 Olympics and Shanghai’s 2010 World Expo.

Shanghai has 425km of track (excluding the Maglev and Jinshan Railway), making it the longest subway network in the world, while Beijing currently has 372km. Traditionally, the main metro networks in Mainland China open new lines in the last few days of December. This year is no different, with both the Shanghai Metro and Beijing Subway scheduled to open new lines in late December 2012. The metro operators rarely release information about exactly which lines will open until a few days before the end of the year, which leaves an intriguing conundrum: what will be the longest metro system in the world at the dawn of 2013?

Over the next few days we’ll be providing a rundown of what new lines you can look forward to riding in 2013, but here’s a sneak peek:

Beijing should open a brand new Line 6, which runs parallel to the overcrowded Line 1. Line 8 will extend further south to meet Line 2, Line 9 will extend north to meet Line 1 and Line 4, while Line 10 will add 23 new stations to almost complete a large loop around the city (the final two stations of the loop will open later in 2013). In total, around 70km of new track will open, which would take Beijing to a track length of 442 km.

Shanghai has three lines or extensions which may open before the end of the year: Line 9 is due for a 3-station, 6.5km extension in the west, linking up Songjiang South Railway Station. The 8km-long phase 1 of Line 13 will head west from Jinshajiang Road on Line 3/4 to Huajiang Road. The first phase of Line 12 in Pudong is 13.1km long, and will intersect with Line 4 and Line 6.

If Shanghai can manage to open 18km of track it will keep its total track length ahead of Beijing, but if deadlines slip to 2013 they could allow Beijing to take back the crown!

As always, the metro operators remain tightlipped about exactly which stations and lines will open. Delays are not uncommon, and some individual stations may open later than the rest of the line. Stay tuned for updates!

photo by: JD Hancock