Last updated on Dec 27, 2013
Suzhou is building a subway network to ease traffic congestion and meet urban development demands. The city started building the subway in 2008 and the first line was officially opened on April 28, 2012. Three more lines will be completed by 2020. Fares have not been decided yet.
Logo for Suzhou Subway
An S-shaped logo, indicating harmonious transportation in a harmonious society, has been designed to represent Suzhou Subway lines. The city’s subway is expected to reach a transport capacity of 6 million people in 2015, according to development plans.
With an investment of 12.6 billion yuan, the subway project is the largest urban construction program to date in Suzhou and has made it the first prefecture-level city in the country to construct subway lines.
Suzhou Metro network plan (click the image to enlarge)
Subway Line 1
Suzhou Subway Line 1 is the first metro line of the city as well as the first one among all the domestic cities on a prefectural level. Construction on the line started at the end of 2007 and it has already passed a three-month internal test.
Subway Line 1 follows an east-west route with a total length of 25.739 kilometers. It starts from Wuzhong District Mudu Station and the terminal is Zhongnan Street Station in the Industrial Zone and contains altogether 24 underground stations.
The Suzhou subway ticket prices range from 2 to 6 yuan (95 US cents) depending on the distance.
According to the price table, the price starts at 2 yuan for 6 kilometers; from 6 to 16 kilometers the price is 1 yuan added for each 5 kilometers; from 16 to 30 kilometers it is 1 yuan for each seven kilometers; above 30 kilometers it is 1 yuan for each 9 kilometers.
Special groups of people can enjoy beneficial policies on ticket prices. For example, disabled persons, the blind and students within the compulsory education age can take the metro trains for free. Aged passengers over 70 can take trains for free except during rush hours (7am to 9am, 5pm to 7pm).
Besides, all the passengers who take Suzhou Traffic Cards, Educational E-Cards and Citizen Cards can enjoy a 5-percent discount in price.
All the prices are valid only for the test run, which will last until Metro Line 2 has opened.
According to Suzhou Rail Transport Co Ltd, the train for Line 1 has a rated capacity of 950 people and an overcrowded capacity of 1,340. The average speed of trains on Line 1 is estimated at around 35 kilometers per hour and it will take about 43 minutes to complete the route.
Officials said Line 1 designers had paid special attention to protect the old town and its historic architecture. The line will avoid old trees and buildings and measures have been taken to reduce vibrations from passing trains.
Metro Line 1 diagram
Metro Line 1 price scheme (click on the image to enlarge)
Subway Line 2
Suzhou Metro Line 2 will begin trial operation on December 28. The 26.56-kilometer rail has 17 underground stations and five elevated stations, stretching from Beijing-Shanghai High Speed Rail Station in Xiangcheng District to Baodaiqiao Station in Wuzhong District. It cost more than 14.5 billion yuan (US$2.39 billion) and took four years to build.
Metro Line 2 diagram
Ticket prices will range from 2 yuan to 6 yuan, same as Metro Line 1. But transfer between Line 1 and Line 2 at Guangji Road Station, Xingtang Street Station, Zhongnan Street Station and High Speed Railway Station will cost more, but within 7 yuan.
Metro Line 2 price scheme
Before its trial operation, Line 2 conducted a test run from December 9 to 15, offering free ride to about 10,000 passengers every day. The test run was smooth and successful.
The city is also planning Metro Line 3 and Line 4. The east-west Line 3 will link Suzhou New District with Wuzhong District, covering a distance of 43.5 kilometers with more than 30 stations. It will be the longest subway in Suzhou.
Line 4 will run from Wanggengshang Station in the north to Suwang Road Station in the south, totaling 31.2 kilometers and with more than 20 stations. Both Line 3 and Line 4 are expected to be built by 2016.