Hop aboard Shanghai's subway system

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Media captionBBC News saves you the 8 RMB fare it costs to travel the 52 km from one end to the other on Shanghai's metro line 16

Smart and modern, trains on Shanghai's new line 16 reach up to 120km (74.5 miles) per hour. The line's opening this week, along with a partial stretch of line 12, makes the city's metro system the first in the world to cover a total length of more than 500km.

Passengers we spoke to were delighted with the ever-growing network, which now extends far into the suburbs despite the first bit of track having been laid little more than 20 years ago.

But with dozens of other Chinese cities now expanding or building their own metro systems, some observers have raised doubts about the cost of it all. If nothing else, it's a sign that there's little let up in big government spending despite all the talk of the need to re-balance China's economy.

The debate will rumble on. For now, let us save you the 8 yuan ($1.30) fare it costs to travel the 52km from one end to the other on line 16.

Hop onboard the newest part of the world's biggest subway system.