Hong Qiao is the old airport in Shanghai. A 20 minute ride to/from the airport, which also apparently doubles as a train station with other routes to Hangzhou, Shanghai city, Beijing, and other places, cannot be compared to a 3-4 hour ride between cities. You also cannot compare the population of Shanghai with either L.A. or S.F.--it is much larger than either of them. The route that you quote is basically an inner city train (Wuzhou is essentially a suburb city of Shanghai) of one of the biggest and wealthiest cities in the world that happens to be high speed. It's probably mostly commuter traffic. I have ridden the Maglev train several times between the new Pudong airport and downtown Pudong (Shanghai). It is a very impressive train. If you ride it during the day, it hits speeds of 430 km/hr (over 250 mph). Sadly, I have never seen it over half full. And a third of the train is First Class seating, which is almost always empty. The ticket cost is $8 for economy, and $16 for 1st Class, one way. The train takes 12-17 minutes to get from one end to the other. If you just want a short track that can be successful, run one from the Orlando airport to Disney World. Of course, Disney should pay for it.