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Shanghai Subway Ticket

Ticket System

Like many metro systems in the world, the fares on the Shanghai Subway are distance based. As of September 15, 2005, when the Shanghai government raised them, fares ranged from 3 yuan (approx USD $0.375) for journeys under 6km, to 8 yuan for journeys over 46km.

As of December 25, 2005, Shanghai uses a "one ticket network", which means free interchange between all lines without purchase of another ticket. However, as of May 2007, you will still need two tickets to interchange between lines 1 and 3 in Shanghai Railway Station.


  • For most lines, the base fare is 3 yuan for journeys under 6km, then 1 yuan for each additional 10 km. Since the longest possible journey is 50 km long, the highest fare is 8 yuan.
  • For journeys exclusively on line 5 (From Xinzhuang To Minhang Development Zone), the fare is 2 yuan for journeys under 6 km and all other journeys are 3 yuan (the total length of this line being 16 km).
  • There will be a 10% discount for the rest of the calendar month if you use Shanghai Public Transportation and your fare reaches 70 yuan in a month.

Buy Ticket

There are maps near the ticket booths that tell you your fare in English, making it easy to simply hand over the exact change to the ticket seller (therefore comfortably avoiding language barriers). 

The automated machines next to the booths are also user friendly and in English. Just select the line and then choose the station. The machines accept notes and coins.

automated machines at Subway station

Payment for the metro can be done by buying single journey tickets at a ticketing machine or ticket booth. Additionally a card can be bought called the Shanghai Public Transportation Card. This contactless card can be recharged at the ticket booths at the metro stations, but also at many small convenience shops troughout the city.

Shanghai Public Transportation Card
The Shanghai Public Transportation Card

It can also be used to pay at these same convenience shops, McDonalds and most forms of transportation like in the metro, public buses, taxis and ferries. Buying the card costs 30 yuan, which is refunded if it is returned.

Unfortunately the card will not give a discount like the Hongkong MTR Octopus Card, but it will allow you to avoid the often long queues in front of the ticket booths and there are special gates at some stations which can only be used with this card.

The special gate which can only be used with the Shanghai Public Transportation Card:

Shanghai Public Transportation Card


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