One of the biggest concerns that people have when visiting or moving to a new city is simply how they will get from point A to point B in the most efficient way possible. Fortunately, here in Shanghai the city provides a fantastic and fairly reliable public transportation system. To complement their good transportation service, Shanghai makes readily available the purchase of a public transportation card that can be used for the metro, taxis, buses, tourist buses, long-distance buses, maglev trains, and ferries.
The Shanghai transportation card can be purchased for RMB20 and is most commonly purchased at the service centers that are in the subway stations. The metro is one of the more reliable forms of public transportation in the city, and allows for people with very little to no Mandarin skills to easily travel around the city.
However, the service centers of the subway stations are not the only locations where a public transportation card may be purchased. According to TravelChinaGuide a public transportation card can be purchased at all branches of the Shanghai Pudong Development (SPD) Bank, Bank of Communications, Buddies CVS and Kedi CVS and select branches of Huaxia Bank.
The process is incredibly simple and does not even require any level of Mandarin; this being either because the service center employee either speaks enough English to understand your request, or because as a foreigner in Shanghai who does not speak Mandarin your pantomiming skills are probably extraordinary. One must simply walk up to the front counter and either verbally ask for a metro card or somehow make a gesture that can be interpreted as the same request. You then exchange RMB20 for the card and can then place whatever amount you desire on it.
Be forewarned, as a transportation card is small, they are easily dropped, lost and/or stolen, therefore we recommend capping your metro card at RMB100 and topping it up whenever necessary. Go out today and pick up a useful Shanghai public transportation card and travel the city like a pro!
For more How-to Guides, click here.