Tailored bus services all set to make a comeback in Shanghai

Updated 2016-11-24 11:44:29 Shanghai Daily

Forget the taxi, get the bus to take you where you want to go.

The concept of tailored bus services is coming to Shanghai - again.

Citizens are being given the chance to design peak-hour bus routes according to their needs as the city's largest bus company plans to introduce tailored bus services from next month.

Shanghai Bashi Bus Group said it would open 10 bus routes in early December to ferry people between home and workplace. The new lines will connect large-scale neighborhoods to major transport junctions, and there will be fewer stops to make journeys faster.

Passengers can check route information by following the service's official WeChat account "echengbus," through which they can also buy their ticket. An English service is not yet available.

According to the bus group, 31-seat and 35-seat electric buses will be put into service on the new lines during morning and evening rush hours. Passengers will only be charged 1 yuan (15 US cents) for each ride during first week's promotion. A standard fee is yet to be announced.

According to the service's pre-operation survey, the most popular routes will be a line connecting Minhang District's Kangcheng neighborhood to Metro Line 2's Songhong Road Station, and a line linking Xuhui District's Huicheng neighborhood to the Hongqiao transport hub.

Bashi group said passengers who find the 10 routes do not match their needs can apply for new routes by providing echengbus with information such as preferred destination and bus times. New lines will be considered if there is sufficient demand.

This is not the first time Shanghai has seen tailored bus services. In July 2013, a website launched a similar bus service "Zhitongba."

Each passenger was charged a membership fee of 299 yuan a month, and would then pay 5 to 11 yuan for each ride depending on distance. A new route would open after receiving at least 40 applications.

However, Zhitongba stopped operations after about a month. The operator said its partner bus renting company had refused to take part for any longer.

The echengbus service buses will all be provided by Bashi group.

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