Planning Urban Ring Rail Transit Lines: Case Study of Shanghai, China

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, place - urban, mode - subway/metro, infrastructure - track, land use - planning, land use - impacts, planning - travel demand management, planning - network design, economics - value of time


metro, ring transit lines, long-range planning


Shanghai, China, has the largest metro system in the world, with a network length of more than 550 km. Both Shanghai and Beijing are among the top five cities in terms of ridership, and some of the most important components of their metro systems are the ring transit lines. Many other cities, in China and elsewhere, also envision a ring transit line for their future rail transit networks. A previously developed analytical model for the long-range planning of ring transit lines was used in the comparison of the current alignment of the Shanghai ring line with the optimized model output, and a second ring transit line was recommended for the future Shanghai network. The findings suggest that the alignment of an existing ring line would affect the optimal alignment of the second ring line. In addition, if an outer ring line exists (or is planned to be constructed), the optimal location of the inner ring line might not be its current location. Furthermore, a sensitivity analysis was conducted to test the impact of changes on demand, value of time, and passenger ride cost on the second ring line. Zones that would benefit most from introduction of the second ring line were also determined. Although the case study presents the Shanghai ring lines, the outcomes provide useful information for other cities that are considering the expansion of their transit network with a first or second ring line. Unlike simulations and agent-based models, the model presented in this study is easily transferable to any transit network.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Transportation Research Board, Washington, copyright remains with them.