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Free transport info on cell phones

Using a cell phone, Metro passengers can access free transport and entertainment information in a pilot scheme now running at major Metro stations in Shanghai.


The Shanghai Metro Guide, in both Chinese and English, was launched yesterday.


Each Metro station has its own code. Users send this code - which can be found posted on the wall by the entrance to the station to the following number: 10658028.


For example, at People's Square the code to send is 702088. A Website address is sent back and there's a button on the site for the English version.


The service, is now running at four Metro stations - People's Square, Zhongshan Park, Xujiahui and Lujiazui - and will cover all Metro stations before World Expo 2010.


Chinese users can send the same SMS or install a barcode reader in their phones. China Mobile users can download the barcode reader by sending an SMS to 10658028.


Once installed, users only need to scan the barcodes at the entrances to stations to access the guide and its information on bus lines, maps, shopping centers and restaurants.


"Barcodes can store a lot of information and save time," said Li Jiaming, CEO of eTag Media. "The service has been widely and successfully used in some foreign countries like Japan but is new in China."


(Shanghai Daily February 11, 2009)