Will I need to drive my own vehicle to conduct my everyday life (work/school/shopping) at my destination?
It is not necessary to drive your own vehicle. In fact, driving in Shanghai is rather difficult and dangerous as the roads are packed with aggressive drivers. Many employers provide a driver and vehicle to their expats. It is also easy to get around by taxi.
How can I legally drive a vehicle in this city?
If you already have a driver's license from your home country, you will need to obtain a Chinese driver's license by taking a series of tests (which do not actually involve driving). This is done at the Municipal Traffic Administration Bureau.
What side of the road do people drive on?
Vehicles drive on the right. Be sure to look both ways when crossing the road, as cyclists and moped riders do not always obey the general traffic rules.
Describe typical public transportation an expat might use to get around the city.
Most expats are put off by the crowded nature of public transport and the fact that many passengers tend to push. Most expats prefer taxis, which are relatively inexpensive. An alternative is the Metro (subway system), which is clean, fast and well-run. The Metro is a good way of avoiding traffic jams, especially if taxis are scarce (when it's raining and during rush hours, for example). As of 2012, there are 11 metro lines to many parts of the city.
Could an expat also use public transportation to get out of the city—to surrounding towns, recreation areas or suburbs? If so, list options.
Long-distance buses travel to popular out-of-town destinations. Further afield, people take the train. The train service in the area surrounding Shanghai has improved a great deal in recent years. The only difficulty is in buying tickets and reading the timetable. Contact Crown Shanghai to arrange basic language training.
In regards to transportation, are there any safety issues I should be aware of?
You should be wary of traffic conditions, especially during the first few weeks of your assignment. Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians are accustomed to going where they want to go without looking. When walking, driving, or riding a bicycle, never assume that someone has seen you and will take action to avoid colliding with you.
Where do I buy tickets/tokens/etc. for the major public transportation?
You can buy a Shanghai Public Transportation Card from Metro stations and 24-hour shops. Train tickets are bought at the station itself or through agents.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.