Public transportation in China
If you think the United States is still the #1 in the world, you need to wake up a little bit. At least in some areas, US has been left behind by other countries.
During my recent visit to China, I traveled by car, bus, taxi, subway, train and airplane. I felt that public transportation and multi-mode transportation in China are far more advanced than in the US.
Beijing used to be the only city in China that had subways. Now many cities have or are building subway systems including my hometown Suzhou.
Getting around in big cities like Beijing and Shanghai by bus and subways is convenient and often faster than by cars due to congestion.
To travel long distance from city to city, you can take bus, train or plane. The slow trains I knew in college years are being replaced by high speed rail in China. China has the world’s longest high-speed rail (HSR) network.
In the 1980’s, when I visited my parents’ home during summer and winter breaks by train that ran from Beijing to Shanghai, the train ride took over 20 hours. It was very crowded and always packed to full capacity, with no room to move around. Many passengers had no seats and had to stand.
Now the whole train ride from Beijing to Shanghai takes less than 10 hours. When the new high speed rail that’s under construction is completed, it will take probably 6-7 hours only.
When I traveled from Xian to Mount Hua, I took the high speed rail train that can reach top speed of 350 km/h (220 mph). Everyone has seat. It was very clean and nice. It took only 45 minutes to get to the destination. It could have taken a few hours by car.
The US definitely needs to upgrade its infrastructure to keep up with the world.
No more big crowd waiting for the high speed rail train. It stops for only one minute at the Xian Railway Station. Every passenger needs a ticket with assigned seat to get on.
The train is dusted and cleaned during its short stop.
It’s comfy inside the high speed rail train.