US Journal III - Transportation and Traffic

III. Transportation and Traffic

Shanghai is definitely one of the cities with the most well-developed transportation systems in the world. For example, we have clean and nicely-organized underground, we have a busy bus system, we also have taxis, ferry, and even a maglev line which connects the airport to the city. In Maryland, where I’m living, there’s almost no public transportation except what they called a Metro. But it is not a Metro anymore - it connects Maryland to Washington D.C., and even other states. In Chinese definition, we’d rather call it a TRAIN instead. The bus exists, but you don’t even see them on the roads. The most widely-used transportation, I would like to say, is the school bus. Every morning, thousands of Montgomery County School buses come to your street right on time to pick you up. Well, let’s do a calculation. If there are about 40 children on a bus while there are about 1500 buses (or even more), how many kids are delivered to school every day? 60000! AND MORE! See? There’s only about 1.017 million (1017000, if you don’t know) currently known living in the county. The buses are free, and they are run by the county education department. As there’s only one public school destination in each area, it is much easier to organize.

Then Metro. As I have said, the metros here are more like trains, which deliver you from one city(or state) to another. There’s a huge parking lot at the metro station, as most people drive to the station (I will explain that later). In order to make the metro more organized at rush hours, the price at what they called “Peak Period” are much more expensive. There are more seats on the metros, so the train can hold more people at a time. There are several metro lines on the east coast ran by the Capital Metro Company, and if you like you can search about it :). [Disclaimer: This is not a tour guide.]

Taxis. Nothing special, but there’s a very convenient design which I like best - you are able to use credit cards on taxis, and there’s even a machine at the back seat so that you can swipe the card yourself!

That’s all for this part, and I am not really satisfied with the traffic here as for most places, we had to drive.

Mingjie Jiang

Maryland, United States


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