UMR Index


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Score: 56.2%

Sustainable Mobility


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Score: 56.7%

Public Transit


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Score: 56.9%

Population 26.6 million
Surface area (km2) 4.333
Population-density (people/km2) 6,149
GDP per capita ($) 33,062
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What Shanghai Does Well in Urban Mobility

Shanghai's strong electric vehicle (EV) market share has benefitted from government investment in charging stations, a vibrant consumer market with many EV models available, and purchase incentives for residents even as many EVs are already available at competitive prices. The Chinese government in 2023 announced an acceleration of charging station construction, according to reports.

Shanghai has well-maintained and interconnected roadways with relatively few road-related fatalities and a strong regional rail network. In 2023, the city continued to build on this strength when it unveiled plans to build tunnels and passages that allow drivers to cross the Huangpu River.

Urban Mobility Readiness Index, Sustainable Mobility and Public Transit scores

Challenges and Opportunities for Shanghai’s Transportation System

Shanghai's public transit system lags behind many of its Asian peers with underdeveloped offerings. Shanghai aims to improve this with 17 total rail transit lines that span 84 stations and 160 kilometers (99 miles), and its 2035 plan targets a public transit modal share of more than 50%.

As a coastal city, Shanghai is at risk of natural disasters and is ill-prepared to handle their damage. Shanghai’s 2035 plan details flood control measures like enhanced systems to measure surface sinking.

Dimensions of the Urban Mobility Readiness Index score

How Shanghai Can Improve Its Public Transportation and Sustainable Mobility

Given its sprawl, many Shanghai residents have lengthy walks to metro stations and bus stops. Shanghai can add bus routes and stops to help connect residents with metro lines — a cost-effective improvement that would help lower walking distances and overall commute times. That said, its 2035 plan aims to lower distances between stops. Adding new lines or extending existing metro lines will bolster public transit offerings, but that effort will be a time-intensive and expensive undertaking.

Shanghai has a large network of dedicated bike paths, but its sprawl challenges cyclists. Increasing the number of maintained bike lanes with safety dividers would help encourage cycling. Separately, bikes are not permitted on public transit. Removing these restrictions would help integrate cycling with public transit. Providing e-bike subsidies can help limit geographic barriers and increase cycling accessibility. Lastly, investing in the expansion of bike-sharing services, like more stations, bikes, and e-bikes would further support cyclists.

Comparative Urban Mobility Readiness Index scores