The interchange passageway at Dongzhimen dates back to the opening of the eastern section of Subway Line 13, on January 28, 2003.
At first, passengers transferring to Line 13 from Line 2 had to exit the station in full and use an open-air stretch to reach the Line 13 entrance. Line 13 passengers transferring to Line 2, however, were able to change trains using the all-underground section. The interchange had traffic that kept left, much like the UK and Hong Kong.
On October 7, 2007, a wholly underground passageway went into service for Line 2 passengers transferring to Line 13. This very passageway, however, would be expanded by July 2008 to accommodate the new Airport Express.
Two connections to the Airport Express were opened at 14:00 on July 19, 2008, to coincide with the Airport Express going into service. At the same time, traffic flow was reversed so that passengers kept right (like in China and the US). Passengers transferring from Line 2 to Line 13 had to use a different, all-underground passageway (different from the October 2007 route at the start) to change trains. Passengers for the Airport Express, meanwhile, could change through either a more direct passageway or via the Line 13 route (only to exit the CNY 2 fare system before the stairs going into the Line 13 part of the station). Travellers using the Airport Express also had two options to reach Line 13 trains: either using the existing Line 2-13 transfer hall, or by using the newly built Dongzhimen Transportation Hub section. (Travellers transferring to Line 2 trains had one sole option.)
Two new exits, E and H, were opened along with the Airport Express part, as well as the Dongzhimen Transportation Hub, on July 19, 2008 as well.
Dongzhimen Subway Station has a total of four exits. This station uses side halls on Underground Level 1. Exits A and B are in the northern side hall; exits C and D are in the southern side hall. Passengers must choose their exit in advance before leaving the platforms on Underground Level 2.
Line 2 Part
Exit A (northwest): Eastern 2nd Ring Road (Dongzhimen South Street)
Exit B (northeast): Advanced Healthcare, East Gate Plaza, Huatai Life Beijing Branch, Poly Plaza
Line 13 Part
Exit G: Eastern 2nd Ring Road East
Airport Express Part
Exit E: Dongzhimen Outer Street, Oriental Kenzo, Sky Plaza; Bus connections; Taxi stand
Exit H: Bus Transfer Hall