Thursday, August 30, 2007

A Sign of Things to Come


When I got here over four months ago I was complaining that the subways didn't have much signage. While this form of public transit is a great people mover, once you step off the trains, you don't know where to go.

The map showing the location of the station and its exits is so vague that it's like Russian Roulette picking a way out and hoping that's the one you wanted.

It hardly compares to the Mass Transit Railway in Hong Kong where there are lots of signs, and exits are clearly marked with the destination you're looking for.

But things are starting to change in the Chinese capital.

When I went to Fuchengmen station I was surprised to see it brightly lit, with colourful signs and buildings clearly listed at each of the exits.

It made the whole excursion a significantly more pleasant experience.

Obviously these changes are happening in anticipation of the Olympics next year. And it's a welcome transformation that I hope will happen sooner than later.

Now if they could replace the fans with air conditioning in the carriages...

1 comment:

ks said...

the beijing subway is developed about a hundred years after that of paris and london . it is simple and will take time to mature. probably it should learn from hong kong which has a very efficient and user friendly public transit. the beijing city officials are to be congratulated for their courage to take the plunge. it is not easy to construct such a line as it can cause a lot of miseries to those affected. in vancouver the canada line running from the airport to downtwon passes through cambie street. all the businesses along cambie are crying foul as their business volume dropped dramatically due to interuption of traffic. some have relocated while others simply folded. all three levels of government do not offer any relief to help them in the form of e.g. tax credit, or monetary compensation etc.