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Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Shanghai Autumn 2012 - Software and Hardware

When I left Shanghai 4 years ago, there were 4 sub-way lines - the circle line 4 was 3/4 complete.

And there were construction works all over the place for new Metro stations.

Lo and behold! Now coming back, I was a bit taken aback by what I see. Now the Metro extends all the way to Pudong Airport - just like our Changi Airport! 

And there are now 11 Metro lines!!!

Look out for the 3 parallel metro lines in the city centre

Now the satellite suburbia towns around Shanghai are connected to the city centre. For some perspective, it's a bit like our MRT extending to JB or Batam. Which opens up more options for newly weds who can't afford the crazy property prices in Shanghai. And more  lifestyle choices. The same marketing glitz used for Punggol in Singapore is used for Songjiang in Shanghai. Spin is the same everywhere you go!

That said, my Metro trip from Pudong Airport (the green line from bottom right) to the city centre took 1.5 hours.  It's the same same time for money or money for time choices we all have to make at some point in our lives.

In the past, I would have preferred to walk 1 hours than take the Shanghai metro during peak hours. I don't like to be sardined and have bodies pressed against mine. Never mind even if the bodies are hot Shanghai babes. No thank you. I am a people-watcher; not a pervert.

Now Shanghai has 3 parallel metro lines running through the city centre. Now the trains are crowded like Singapore's MRT during peak hours (a wonderful improvement!); but minus the body crushing experience in the past! Spreading the load helps! Duh!

OK, I cheated a bit. I always moved to the ends of the train platforms in Shanghai. Why? There are no stairways or escalators at the opposite ends of the train platform. So when you stand near the train's door, you won't face last minute idiotic thundering barbaric commuters rushing down at you as the Metro doors are closing! 

Now I know how medieval pikemen must have felt facing a cavalry charge. Hold! Hold! Hold the line!   
A humbling reflection: Singapore can increase as many MRT lines as we want; but if Orchard has only 1 line, make a wild guess where the bottle-neck will be in the future with more MRT lines being added?

And with the addition of these parallel Metro lines in Shanghai, I saw they have reduced the number bus lines at Huai Hai Road (our Orchard equivalent of sort). The road traffic is so much smoother now without the constant jams and queues of fat buses hogging precious real estate. Interesting!

It's not just Hardware improvements. I see lots of Software improvements everywhere! Impressive...

Talking about Software improvements, do take a look at the 2 pics below:

Singaporeans can chill a bit. Other cosmopolitan cities in the world will do their best to help alleviate our Foreign Talent "situation". 

I was really taken aback here. 

I am counting my lucky stars. I was at the right place right time 7 years ago when there's a window of opportunity. Now? I can't see any reasons why Shanghai would need an under-schooled Singaporean whose only marketable skill is he can talk better than he can sing!      

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