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Shenzhen Metro

Shenzhen Metro
Locale Shenzhen
Transit type Rapid transit
Number of lines 5
Number of stations 118[1]
Daily ridership

2,840,400 (2014 Avg.)[2]

3,943,400 (2014 Peak)[3]
Annual ridership 1037 million (2014)[2]
Website Shenzhen Metro
Shenzhen Metro Line 3
MTR (Shenzhen)
Began operation December 28, 2004
  • Shenzhen Metro Group
System length Script error: No such module "convert".[4]
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) (Standard Gauge)
System map


Shenzhen Metro
Simplified Chinese 深圳地铁
Traditional Chinese 深圳地鐵
Cantonese Jyutping Sam1zan3 Dei6tit3
Cantonese Yale Sàmján Dèihtít
Hanyu Pinyin Shēnzhèn Dìtiě
Logos of the two operators for Shenzhen Metro

The Shenzhen Metro is the subway or underground system for the city of Shenzhen in Guangdong province, China. The system opened on December 28, 2004, making Shenzhen the sixth city in mainland China to have a subway after Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Wuhan. The Shenzhen Metro currently has 5 lines, 118 stations, and Script error: No such module "convert".[4][1] of total trackage in operation. The network underwent rapid expansion prior to the 2011 Summer Universiade, opening 110 km (68.35 miles) of tracks in June 2011.[5] Currently, there are three lines under construction.[6]

Current System

The current system has five lines and provides a relatively fast and economical way of traveling in the east-central part of Shenzhen, compared to buses and taxis. Line 1 (Luobao) and Line 4 (Longhua) run to the border crossings between the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region at Luohu/Lo Wu and Futian Checkpoint/Lok Ma Chau, where riders can transfer to Hong Kong's MTR East Rail Line for travel onward to Hong Kong. Each of the five lines intersect all of the other four lines at least once.

Line Terminals
Opened Newest
     Line 1 Luohu
Airport East
2004 2011 41.04 30
     Line 2 Chiwan
2010 2011 35.78 29
     Line 3 Yitian
2010 2011 41.66 30
     Line 4 Futian Checkpoint
2004 2011 19.96 15
     Line 5 Qianhaiwan
2011 40.00 27
Total 178.44 131

Line 1 (Luobao Line)

Line 1 also known as the Luobao Line runs westward from Luohu to Airport East. Trains operate every 2 minutes during peak hours and every 4 minutes at other times. All stations in Luobao Line are underground.

Line 2 (Shekou Line)

Line 2 also known as the Shekou Line runs from Chiwan to Xinxiu. It connects with the Luobao Line at Window of the World, with the Longhua Line at Civic Center, with the Longgang Line at Futian and with the Luobao Line again at Grand Theater.

Line 3 (Longgang Line)

Line 3 also known as the Longgang Line runs from Yitian to Shuanlong in Longgang, in the north-east of the city. Construction began on December 26, 2005.[9] The line is operated by Shenzhen Metro No.3 Line Operations Branch Corporation

Line 4 (Longhua Line)

Line 4 also known as the Longhua Line runs northward from Futian Checkpoint to Qinghu. Trains operate every 8 minutes. Stations from Futian Checkpoint to Lianhua North are underground. The line has been operated by MTR Corporation (Shenzhen), a subsidiary of MTR Corporation, since July 1, 2010.

Line 5 (Huanzhong Line)

Line 5 also known as the Huanzhong Line runs from Qianhaiwan in the west to Huangbeiling in the east. Construction began in May 2009 and the line opened June 22, 2011.[11] Huanzhong Line required a total investment of 20.6 billion RMB.


Annual Ridership
Yearmillion riders±% p.a.
2005[12] 58—    
2006[13] 90+55.17%
2007[14] 118+31.11%
2008[15] 136+15.25%
2009[16] 138+1.47%
2010[17] 163+18.12%
2011[18] 460+182.21%
2012[19] 781+69.78%
2013[20] 914+17.03%
2014[2] 1,037+13.46%

Since opening of the first phase in 2004, there has been steady growth in passenger traffic. In in 2009 and 2010, passenger traffic soared with major openings of new phase 2 lines. Since the opening of phase 2 lines there has been a three-fold increase in passenger traffic in 2010.[21] The maximum daily passenger record occurred on May 1, 2014 hit, day traffic of 3,471,800 passengers.[3]

July is the busiest month of the year for the Shenzhen Metro, accounting for 9.3% annual passenger traffic. Subway passenger volume in January the lowest throughout the year, accounting for only 6.7% of annual passenger traffic. This is caused by Shenzhen's large migrant worker population.[22]


File:Shenzhen metro Evo.gif
Evolution of the Shenzhen metro

Early Planning

In late 1983, Party Secretary of Shenzhen Mayor Liang Xiang led a team to Singapore to study its mass transit system. Upon returning decided that 30 meters on each side of Shennan Avenue to protected as a green belt, and set aside a 16-meter wide median reserved for a light rail or Light Metro line.[23] In 1984, the "Shenzhen Special Economic Zone Master Plan (1985–2000)" pointed out that, with the growing population and traffic in Shenzhen, a light metro system will not have sufficient capacity to meet future demand. Instead the report proposed a heavy rail subway line to be built along Shennan Avenue.[24] The project was finally approved by the Central Planning Department in 1992.[25]

In August 1992, during and re-feasibility and rail network planning, The Shenzhen Municipal Government decided to move from building a light metro line to a heavy rail subway line. The rapid growth of Shenzhen City made a lower capacity light metro line impractical.[26] In 1994, Shenzhen organized the preparation of the "Shenzhen urban rail network master plan" to be incorporated into the "Shenzhen City Master Plan (1996–2010)".[27] The city's vision for an urban rail network consists of nine lines. Of the nine transit lines, three of them will be commuter rail lines upgraded from existing national mainline railways. The total length of the proposed network will be about 270 km. The three upgraded commuter rail lines will overlap the Guangzhou–Shenzhen Railway , Pinghu–Nanshan Railway and Pingyan railway.[27] This plan establishes the basic framework for the Shenzhen Metro network.[28]

Construction Suspended and Restarted

In December 1995, the State Council issued the "moratorium on approval of urban rapid transit projects" to suspend approval of rail transit projects in all Chinese cities except Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. The Shenzhen Metro project was postponed.[29] In 1996 prior to the handover authorities attempted to restart construction by renaming the project "The Luohu , Huanggang / Lok Ma Chau border crossing passenger rail connection project", stressing that the project is designed to meet the potential growing demand for cross-border passenger traffic after the handover.[27]

In 1997, Shenzhen reapplied it's Subway plans to the State Planning Commission, and received approval in May 1998.[26] The project was renamed the "Shenzhen Metro first phase".[30] On July 1998, Shenzhen Metro Co., Ltd. was formally established.[30] By April 1999, the subway project feasibility study report has been approved by the state.

First phase

Construction of the first sections of Line 1 (Luobao) and Line 4 (Longhua) began in 1999. The grand opening of the Shenzhen Metro system occurred at 5:00pm on Tuesday, December 28, 2004. Initially the trains operated at 15-minute frequencies and consisted of Line 1 services between Luohu and Shijie Zhi Chuang (now Window of the World) and the Line 4 services between Fumin and Shaonian Gong (now Children's Palace). Initially the English names of the stations were rendered in Hanyu Pinyin, but some of the names were changed to English translation with American spelling in mid-2011.

The Futian Checkpoint station opened on June 28, 2007 using the name Futian Kou'an.[31]

Name Change

On April 23, 2008, Shenzhen Municipal Planning Bureau announced that it would change the nomenclature of Shenzhen's subway lines. Instead of using numbers as the lines official designation, as typically used in other mainland Chinese metro systems, lines will be given Chinese names more akin to the Hong Kong MTR.[32] On October 23, 2013, the Shenzhen Metro Group combined both the number with the name for the current operational lines and the future lines will be in number only.[33] The name changes are as follows:

Original Naming Scheme 2008–2013 Naming Scheme Current Naming Scheme
Line 1 Luobao Line Line 1 (Luobao Line)
Line 2 Shekou Line Line 2 (Shekou Line)
Line 3 Longgang Line Line 3 (Longgang Line)
Line 4 Longhua Line Line 4 (Longhua Line)
Line 5 Huanzhong Line Line 5 (Huanzhong Line)
Line 6 Guangming Line Line 6
Line 7 Xili Line Line 7
Line 8 Yantian Line Line 8
Line 9 Meilin Line Line 9
Line 11 Airport Line Line 11

Second phase

Shenzhen Metro increased to over a hundred operating metro stations in June 2011, before the Shenzhen Universiade games.

Expansion Plans

Third phase

Phase 3 formally commenced in May 2011 with an expected cost of 80 billion yuan. The implementation period has been changed from 2011–2020 to 2011–2016.[34] It will cover Lines 6 (Guangming), 7 (Xili), 8 (Yantian), 9 (Meilin), and 11 (Airport) and will extend the length of the Shenzhen Metro to 348 kilometres and 10 lines.[6][35] In June 2011, the Shenzhen Urban Planning and Land Resources Commission started gather public input on Phase III station names.[36] Anticipated development and growth in Longgang has prompted officials to fast track the planning and construction of Line 10 (formerly Line 16), from Futian Free Trade Zone to Pinghu via Meilin, to start in 2015 instead of after 2020.[37][38][39] Although Line 10 is not part of the original three projects (Lines 7, 9 and 11) approved by the National Development and Reform Commission, the project was fast tracked in order to ease the pressure on Line 4 and accommodate further growth of the Longgang area.[40][41] According to the original plan, the northern section of Line 10 runs through Fenggang town of the neighboring Dongguan City. Due to legal and government coordination issues, Line 10 will temporarily terminate in Pinghu, with capability to extend further north into Dongguan.[42]

Expected Opening
Expected Terminals
Expected Length
in km
Expected Stations
Current Status
2016      Line 11 Futian Bitou 51.7 18 Under Construction[43][44][45]
     Line 7 Xili Reservoir Tai'an 30.3 28 Under Construction[45][46]
     Line 9 Hongshuwan Wenjin 25.3 22 Under Construction[45][46]
2018      Line 8 Wenjin Xiaomeisha 26.4 14 Approved
2019      Line 6 Shenzhen North Songgang 37.9 20 Under Construction[45][47][48]
     Line 10 Futian Checkpoint Pinghu Center 28.8 23 Under Construction[49]
not given
     Line 2 (Eastern section) Xinxiu Liantang East 3.9 3 Approved, Construction start at end of 2015[50][51]
     Line 3 (Eastern section) Shuanglong Pingde 6.6 5 Approved, Construction start in 2016[50][51]
     Line 3 (Southern section) Yitian Baoshuiqu 1.5 1 Approved, Construction start at end of 2015[50]
     Line 4 (Northern section) Qinghu Songyuan 7.3 6 Approved, Construction start in 2016[50][51]
     Line 5 (Southern section) Qianhaiwan Chiwan 8.6 7 Approved, Construction start in 2016[50]
     Line 6 (Southern section) Shenzhen North Science Museum 11.2 6 Approved, Construction start in 2016[50][51]
     Line 9 (Western section) Hongshuwan Hanghai Rd. 10.8 8 Approved, Construction of Phase 1 start at the end 2015[50][51]
A map with Third phase lines.

Mid-term Plan

With the shortening of the Phase III implementation period,[34] a number of lines and extensions (Longhua Phase III, Lines 16 and 12) planned in 2007's Phase III moved into the next phase which could possibly be completed by 2020.[52]

Expected Opening
Expected Terminals
Expected Length
in km
Expected Stations
Current Status
not given
     Line 16 Sea World Taoyuanju 20.7 TBD Approved (2017 u/c)
     Line 12 Universiade Xinqiao Industrial Zone 27.8 TBD Approved (2017 u/c)
File:SZ Railway 2020 English.png
A map with proposed Shenzhen Metro lines through 2020.

Long-term Plan

In the Shenzhen Metro 2007 masterplan has a further 4 lines (     Line 13     Line 14     Line 15     Line 16) which have a planned completion target of 2030.[53] In 2012, 4 further lines Qiannan (Line 17), Pinghu (Line 18), Pingshan (Line 19) and Fuyong (Line 20) where unveiled. This brings the total planned length of the Shenzhen metro to 720 km spread out over 20 lines. In addition to metro lines, 5 Pearl River Delta Rapid Transit lines connecting neighboring urban centers in the Pearl River Delta, totalling 146 km, have also been revealed.[54]

File:Shenzhen Metro Map-2030.png
Map of Shenzhen Metro in 2030 (lines 17–20 not included due to lack of enough available information)

Extended Intercity Proposal

Aside from the set masterplan, at the 12th Guangdong Provincial People's Congress in January 2014,[55] it was proposed to extend Line 4 (Longhua Line) beyond the planned Phase III terminus at the Songyuan Bus Terminal in Guanlan. It is wanted to connect this line with the future Dongguan Metro Line R4 at the planned Tangxia station. The benefits of this proposal aims to shorten the distance between the two cities in residents' minds, boost tourism industries in both cities and expand housing options. It would also allow for direct connection between Hong Kong and Dongguan. As the area in the proposed area is less developed, the cost in building the line is expected to be reasonable, with a feasibility study is yet to conducted.

Fares and tickets

Metro rides are priced according to distance travelled, and fares vary from 2 RMB to 11 RMB.[56] Since December 2010 fares are based on an a usage fee (2 RMB) + a distance fee. The distance fee is 1 RMB for each 4 km from 4 km to 12 km; after that 1 RMB for each 6 km from 12 km to 24 km and finally 1 RMB for every 8 km over 24 km distance.[57]

Children under the height of 120 cm or aged below 6 may ride for free when accompanied by an adult.[58] The metro also offers free rides to senior citizens over the age of 65, the physically disabled and military personnel. Tickets for children between 120 cm and 150 cm, or aged between 6 and 14 years, or middle scheool students, are half price.

Metro fares can be paid for with single-ride tokens, multiple-ride Shenzhen Metro TransCards or weekly passes.[59]


File:Szmtr ticket front.JPG
Shenzhen Metro RFID Token

When using cash, a green RFID token is purchased and used for the journey. The fare machines offer English and Chinese options. The purchaser touches a station name to calculate the fare. After payment, a green token is dispensed, which must be scanned at the entrance station and deposited at the exit station. A penalty fare applies should a token be lost.

Note that as of 2015 many machines accept only 5 RMB notes. Baggage X-Ray machines are located at each station, and may be manned during peak hours.

Shenzhen Tong cards

Main article: Shenzhen Tong

Shenzhen Tong is similar to the Octopus card system used on the MTR rail lines in Hong Kong. The multiple fare card stores credit purchased at stations. The card can be used by waving it in front of the card reader located at all entrances and exits to the subway system. Riders who pay for metro fare with a card receive a 5% discount. Since March 1, 2008, riders who pay for a bus fare with a card and then a subway fare within 90 minutes receive an additional 40% discount on the subway fare. Card users pay a distance based fare.

Unlike Hong Kong Octopus Cards, Shenzhen Tong cards cannot be sold back to the stations or have faults dealt with by SZMC. Instead, the customer must go to the offices of Shenzhen Tong. Students studying in Shenzhen can use the Shenzhen Tong to receive a 50% discount.

Integration of Shenzhen Tong and Hong Kong Octopus Cards

Since June 30, 2011, users can reciprocally use their Shenzhen Tong and Hong Kong Octopus cards in both Hong Kong and Shenzhen for bus and train commuter travel. There are plans to further integrate the two systems. There have been plans for a new card which will be accepted all over Guangdong province and China's two SARs.[60][61]

Station facilities, amenities and services

Stations have toilets (free of charge), and public telephones. SZMC also operates luggage storage facilities in the concourse above Luohu Station. Cellphone service is available throughout the system provided by China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom.[62]

Like the Hong Kong MTR, Guangzhou, and Foshan metros, station announcements are in Mandarin, Cantonese and English. Some announcements, such as train arrival, are in Mandarin and English only.


Rolling Stock

File:Shenzhen metro-bombardier train car.jpg
Bombardier Rolling Stock on Luobao Line

Luobao Line:

Shekou Line:

Huanzhong Line:

Longgang Line:

Signaling system

For metro Luobao Line, Longhua Line and the extension of Luobao Line, Siemens Transportation Systems supplied 7 (Phase 1) and 6 (Phase 2) LZB 700 M continuous automatic control systems; 7 (Phase 1) and 6 (Phase 2) electronic Sicas ESTT interlockings; the Vicos OC 501 operations control system with 2 operations control centers, fall-back level with Vicos OC 101 and RTU (FEP), 230 (Phase 1) and 240 (Phase 2) FTG S track vacancy detection units.[63]

Shekou & Huanzhong Lines use Casco CBTC system with 2.4 GHz frequencies, and so the system has suffered frequent problems with interference from consumer Wi-Fi equipment.[64] By the end of November 2012, CASCO solved the problem on lines 2 and 5 by switching to their standard solution with frequency diversity on 2 different channels.

See also


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External links