Transportation

by | Feb 25, 2017 |

There are many ways to get around Suzhou: you can take a taxi, you can drive yourself or you can ride a bicycle or an e-bike (an electric scooter). But of course, you can also use Suzhou’s public transportation.

Riding an e-bike

E-bikes (e-scooters) are extremely popular in Suzhou. It is a fast way of transport and it is easy to park a bike.
The minimum age to ride an electric scooter in China is 16. Each bike may carry one adult and one child, 2 (or more) adults on a bike is not allowed.
At the moment the regulations are getting more strict. In Suzhou, traffic rules are checked more thoroughly lately, and the police are checking for unlicensed bikes. In Shanghai, many unlicensed bikes and bikes that go too fast (faster than 20km/h), that are heavier than 40kg, that have a continuous power output that exceeds 240 Watts and that contain batteries exceeding 48 volts have already been confiscated by the traffic police.
Is it not clear what the regulations will be for Suzhou. We will try to keep you updated.
Read more about riding an e-bike in Suzhou.

Public Transportation

Taking a bus, subway or tram in Suzhou is convenient. At the moment there is 1 tram line, 2 subway lines and more than 300 bus lines available. It’s a comfortable way to get around in Suzhou. But note: you can get as far ar Wujiang, Kunshan, Wuxi and even Shanghai.

Subway

Suzhou currently has 3 subway lines functioning.
– Line 1 starts from the western part of Suzhou (SND) and goes through downtown to Suzhou East (SIP).
– Line 2 runs from north to south and connects to Suzhou railway station in the middle (transfer to line 1).
– Line 4 is a north-south line and consists of a main line and a branch line (starting at Hongzhuang Station). Line 4 crosses with Line 1 at Guangji Nanlu and with Line 2 at both Suzhou Train Station and Shihu Donglu.

More info on Line 1, Line 2, Line 4.

The Suzhou Government planned in total 7 lines to be built in the next few years.The next Line to be finished will be Line 3, in 2019.
Taking the subway cost 2 to 8 RMB. Each adult is allowed to take one child under 1.3 meter for free.
Subway tickets can be bought at subway stations, at the ticket desk or at the automates. There are also three types of subscription cards available: 20 rides – 50 RMB,
30 rides – 75 RMB,
50 rides – 120 RMB
All cards are valid for one month.

Suzhou Subway Line Planning (until 2016)

Bus

Before you take the bus, prepare some small change. The bus costs 1 to 4 RMB, depending on the distance, but also depending on the weather. When the heating or aircon are functioning the bus fare will be raised by 1 RMB.
Children under 1.3 meter travel for free.
Information about the schedule (departing times, frequency, start and ending times of the bus service) can be found at the bus stops (in Chinese only). Most buses start running at 5 am and end at 10 pm. In addition, there are 10 night-lines (from 9 pm till 5 am) running between the traffic hub stations.
Also, Suzhou has 7 tourist bus lines that connect train and bus station to scenic spots.

Tram

Suzhou planned to build 7 tram lines, all located in the west of Suzhou.  Currently, Line 1 is running already, line 2 will start to be operated in 2017.

Train and long-distance Bus

If you like to travel from Suzhou to another city, you can either take the train or a long-distance bus. Suzhou has 4 railway stations and also 4 long-distance bus stations. Please note: your passport is requested when you buy a train ticket or a long-distance bus ticket.

Railway Stations:
* Suzhou Railway Station(苏州火车站)the biggest Train Station in Suzhou
* Suzhou SIP Railway Station(苏州园区火车站)
* Suzhou SND Railway Station (苏州新区火车站)
* Suzhou North Railway Station (苏州火车北站)

You can buy your Train Tickets at the Train stations, at the Ticket-office in SIP (near Global 188/Euromart – go here for more information), but also online. https://english.ctrip.com/trains/

Long-Distance Bus Stations:
* Suzhou South long-distance Bus Station(苏州南门汽车客运站)
* Suzhou North long-distance Bus Station (苏州汽车北站)
* Suzhou SND long-distance Bus Station (苏州新区汽车客运站)
* Suzhou Wuzhong Bus Station (苏州吴中汽车客运站)

Suzhou Citizen Card

As a foreigner you can apply for the SUZHOU CITIZEN CARD B(苏州市民卡B卡). If you take public transportation frequently, it is good to have. A Citizen Card costs 18 RMB. By using it you can get 5% off on the subway, 40% off on the bus and 30% off when using the tram. If you pay a deposit you will also be able to use the green shared bikes that are spread out all over Suzhou.

The BAIDU MAP app

The BAIDU MAP app(百度地图)is very popular in China.
The app can be used as GPS, by providing information how to reach your destination by driving, by taking the taxi, bus and subway. But the app also gives you information about how to get to your destination walking, riding a bike etc.
One disadvantage: BAIDU MAP is in Chinese only. That’s why we translated the most common screens for you..
Note the first image: BAIDU MAP has voice recognition! You can search your destination address by pushing the microphone icon and say your destination. But also, you can search by pointing your destination on the map.
Another cool feature: if you take the bus or subway it has an alarm function to remind you when to get off.