Shanghai is the most populous city in the People’s Republic of China as well as the most populous city proper in the world. It is the second most populous of the four direct-controlled municipalities in China, with a population of more than 24 million as of 2014. It is a global financial center, and a transport hub with the world’s busiest container port. Located in the Yangtze River Delta in East China, Shanghai sits on the south edge of the mouth of the Yangtze in the middle portion of the Chinese coast. The municipality borders the provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang to the north, south and west, and is bounded to the east by the East China Sea.
Shanghai has an extensive public transport system, largely based on metros, buses and taxis. Payment of all these public transportation tools can be made by using the Shanghai Public Transportation Card.
As of 2014, there are 14 metro lines (excluding the Shanghai Maglev Train and Jinshan Railway), 329 stations and 538 km (334 mi) of tracks in operation, making it the longest network in the world. On 22 October 2010, it set a record of daily ridership of 7.548 million. The fare depends on the length of travel distance starting from 3 RMB.
Shanghai also has the world’s most extensive network of urban bus routes, with nearly one thousand bus lines, operated by numerous transportation companies. The system includes the world’s oldest trolleybus system. Bus fare normally costs 2 RMB.
Taxis are plentiful in Shanghai. The base fare is currently ¥14 (inclusive of a ¥1 fuel surcharge; ¥18 between 11:00 pm and 5:00 am) which covers the first 3 km (2 mi). Additional kilometers cost ¥2.4 each (¥3.2 between 11:00 pm and 5:00 am).
Shanghai is a major hub of China’s expressway network. Many national expressways (prefixed with G) pass through or terminate in Shanghai, including G2 Beijing–Shanghai Expressway (overlapping G42 Shanghai–Chengdu), G15 Shenyang–Haikou, G40 Shanghai–Xi’an, G50 Shanghai–Chongqing, G60 Shanghai–Kunming (overlapping G92 Shanghai–Ningbo), and G1501 Shanghai Ring Expressway. In addition, there are also numerous municipal expressways prefixed with S (S1, S2, S20, etc.). Shanghai has one bridge-tunnel crossing spanning the mouth of the Yangtze to the north of the city.
In the city center, there are several elevated expressways to lessen traffic pressure on surface streets, but traffic in and around Shanghai is often heavy and traffic jams are commonplace during rush hour. There are bicycle lanes separate from car traffic on many surface streets, but bicycles and motorcycles are banned from most main roads including the elevated expressways.
Private car ownership in Shanghai has been rapidly increasing in recent years, but a new private car cannot be driven until the owner buys a license in the monthly private car license plate auction. Around 8,000 license plates are auctioned each month and the average price is about 45,291 RMB (€5,201). The purpose of this policy is to limit the growth of automobile traffic and to alleviate congestion.
Shanghai has four major railway stations: Shanghai Railway Station, Shanghai South Railway Station, Shanghai West Railway Station, and Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station. Three are connected to the metro network and serve as hubs in the railway network of China. Two main railways terminate in Shanghai: Jinghu Railway from Beijing, and Huhang Railway from Hangzhou. Hongqiao Station also serves as the main Shanghai terminus of three high-speed rail lines: the Shanghai–Hangzhou High-Speed Railway, the Shanghai–Nanjing High-Speed Railway, and the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway.
Shanghai is one of the leading air transport gateways in Asia. The city has two commercial airports: Shanghai Pudong International Airport and Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport. Pudong Airport is the main international airport, while Hongqiao Airport mainly operates domestic flights with limited short-haul international flights. In 2010 the two airports served 71.7 million passengers (Pudong 40.4 million, Hongqiao 31.3 million), and handled 3.7 million tons of cargo (Pudong 3.22 million tons, Hongqiao 480 thousand tons).