I had the pleasure to try out the new Suzhou metro line 1 this week, the first of the planned four lines which opened at the end April this year (line 2 contruction is planned to be completed by 2014 – will I be here to witness it, who knows…). The design is pretty much identical to the Shanghai metro and very easy to navigate. Tickets range from 2-6 RMB ($0.30/€0.25 – $0.94/€0.76), my ride being just 2 RMB!
Line 1 is about 25 km in lenght and when all planned lines are completed, Suzhou should have 140 km of metro line with 109 stations. Line 1 is designed to carry 130.000 passengers a day and had an estimated cost of 12.6 billion RMB.
The metro is really clean and efficient just like we experienced in Shanghai earlier this year. It’s really a great way to get around especially considering we don’t have a car and our bikes are still in a container somewhere in Oakland… I was entertained by a little cartoon video showing the rules on the metro, complete with a crying old dude who could not smoke on the carriage nor fall asleep, drool and miss his stop. And you also have to give up your seat to guys with big bellies…
In an attempt to find out who designed the metro stations (no luck there), I found this link with some pretty impressive subway architecture! I will definitely be taking a ride through the bund sightseeing tunnel in Shanghai.
Suzhou Line 1 Map: