Shanghai's Subways are over capacity and over crowded

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May 31, 2005 Subways in China's largest city are so jam-packed that officials have proposed boosting fares to help reduce crowding, setting off an outcry among residents who rely on the train lines to get to work.

Similar to Tokyo, subway employees now have to shove passengers in to get the doors closed. The most crowded line carries about 42 percent more passengers than it is designed to handle, and overall the system of two underground and one light-rail routes is running at 25 percent above capacity, the state-run newspaper Shanghai Daily reported Tuesday.

Shanghai, a city of more than 20 million, now has only 82 kilometers (50 miles) of subway lines. By 2010, the number of lines is expected to rise from three to 11, and the total length of subway routes to 400 kilometers (250 miles).