Transportation In Chinese: 10+ Best Words To Use

Planning to use public transport or 公共交通 (pronounced as gōnggòng jiāotōng in Chinese) during your trip to China?

Public transportation is your best option when visiting Chinese-speaking countries when you don’t want to rent a private vehicle and want to save yourself some money. Just imagine yourself in China, utterly clueless about local public transportation and requiring directions to the nearest train station. What would you say to them?

You’re probably here because you’re curious about how to communicate about transportation in Chinese. Yes, learning Chinese will be the best way to survive. Although it may seem like a huge challenge, you don’t need to know every word to have a smoother journey. In fact, by simply learning the basics we will cover in this post, we bet you can make your travel a hassle-free experience! Come on, let’s all learn some new Chinese words together.

transportation in Chinese

Common Vehicles Used In China

自行车 (Zì Xíng Chē) – Bike/Bicycle

What if I told you there are around 500,000,000 bicycles in mainland China? About one bicycle per family. Many cities in China began to rely on it as a primary form of transportation as a result. If you want to rent a bike, you can go to a Public Bike Rental Station in your city and scan the QR code that is attached to the bike to pay for the rental. Once you are done using the bike, you may return it to any Public Bike Rental Station that accepts it.

摩托车 (Mó Tuō Chē) – Motorbike

It’s not as simple as it seems. In an effort to reduce traffic jams, motorcycles are prohibited on the majority of motorways and in several cities’ downtown areas. A few examples are Guangzhou and Hangzhou’s downtown regions and parts of Beijing and Shanghai. However, in rural China, motorcycles have long been a popular mode of transportation for personal transport, passenger cars, and deliveries. It saves time and energy.

汽车 (Qì Chē) Car

In 2021, China was the world’s leading vehicle market. It’s reasonable to assume that most Chinese people drive. However, China’s per capita automobile ownership remains low, at only 18 cars per 1,000 people, as opposed to the US’s 940 cars per 1,000 people.

公共汽车 (Gōng Gòng Qì Chē) – Bus

Approximately 10% of the Chinese population use city buses on a daily basis. Almost every major city in China has a well-developed bus transportation system in place. Bus transportation is the most popular mode of transportation in urban and suburban regions because of its cost and accessibility.

火车 (Huǒ Chē) – Train

Chinese train networks are the most crowded in the world. High-speed trains currently connect most major cities in China, representing more than half of all commercial high-speed trains around the globe. So when traveling great distances, you can take a high-speed rail, a subway, or a metro for short distances.

Transportation In Chinese: 10 Common Words To Learn Now!

Chinese WordPronunciationEnglish Definition
汽车qì chēCar
公共汽车gōng gòng qì chēBus
火车huǒ chēTrain
摩托车mó tuō chēMotorbike
单车dān chēBike/Bicycle
自行车zì xíng chēBike/Bicycle
出租车chū zū chēTaxi
地铁dì tiěSubway/Metro
飞机fēi jīAirplane

Getting On/Off Transportation In Chinese

To Take

  • 坐车 (zuò chē) – Take a vehicle
  • 坐租车 (zuò zū chē) – Take a taxi

To Get On/Into

  • 上车 (shàng chē) – Get in the vehicle
  • 上飞机 (shàng fēi jī) – Board a flight

To Get Off

  • 下车 (xià chē) – Get off the vehicle
  • 下火车 (xià huǒ chē) – Get off the train
  • 下飞机 (xià fēi jī) – Get off/disembark a flight

To Ride

  • 骑单车 (qí dān chē) – Ride a bike
  • 骑摩托车 (qí mó tuō chē) – Ride a motorbike
transportation in Chinese

Traffic Signs In Chinese

Chinese WordPronunciationEnglish Definition
红绿灯hóng lǜ dēngTraffic lights
线xiànLine (metro line)
路口lù kǒuIntersections
掉头diào tóuU-turn

Common Phrases For Public Transportation

Chinese WordPronunciationEnglish Definition
坐火车上下班zuò huǒchē shàng xià bānCommute to work by train.
最后一班列车是什么时候?zuìhòu yī bān lièchē shì shénme shíhou?What time is the last train?
在哪儿买票?zài nǎ’er mǎi piào?Where can I buy the ticket?
我要买一张票wǒ yào mǎi yī zhāng piàoI want to buy a ticket.
我想去上海站wǒ xiǎng qù Shànghǎi zhànI want to go to Shanghai station.
我可以坐公共汽车吗?wǒ kě yǐ zuò gōng gòng qì chē ma?Can I take a bus?
这公共汽车到天安门吗?Zhè gōng gòng qì chē dào Tiān’ānmén ma?Does this bus go to Tiananmen Square?
你坐地铁二号线nǐ zuò dì tiě èr hào xiànTake metro line two.
到天安门要多少钱?Dào Tiān’ānmén yào duōshǎo qián?How much is it to Tiananmen Square?


Traveling in Chinese-speaking countries will be easier if you learn all these essential vocabulary. Though you can’t memorize every single word, at least you may feel familiar with these Chinese characters. Most of the words in the phrase end in 车, which is pronounced as chē and means “vehicle,” if you look closely. As a result, let the term convey a whole meaning to you. Surely, it will be a lot of fun!

Learn Chinese With The Ling App

Learn transportation in Chinese with the Ling App

Before going to China, did you do any serious studying for the Chinese language? If the answer is no, you need to figure out ways to learn Chinese faster. As a result, we strongly recommend using the Ling App to learn Chinese. A wealth of information and essential grammar rules can be found in this app. As an outcome, you’ll not only be learning new Chinese words, but you’ll also be familiarizing yourself with the language’s pronunciation and sentence structure. Then it will become easier for you to communicate with Chinese people.

Does that sound motivate? So download the Ling App from the Google PlayStore and Apple AppStore now, and prepare to be fluent in Chinese very soon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.