Metros of the World: Ten Fascinating Facts

Almost 200 cities in the world in more then sixty countries now have a metro system and billions of journeys are made on them  each year. Here are some fascinating facts on a mode of transport which  is part of everyday life in more and more cities  across the globe.

  1. Six of the world’s ten busiest metro systems are in Asia- four can be found in China alone while the busiest, the Tokyo Subway, is in Japan.
  2. The London Underground first opened as an underground railway in 1863 and its first electrified underground line opened in 1890,making it the world’s oldest metro system.It is also the world ‘s second longest.
  3. The Shanghai Metro is the world’s longest metro network at 803 kilometres  and has the highest annual ridership at 2.83 billion trips. The New York City Subway has the greatest number of stations with 472. The second biggest metro system in North America is Mexico City.
  4. The country with the most metro systems is China, with 40 in operation. India has 26 metro systems with the largest in Delhi.
  5. In Europe, Moscow is the  busiest metro  followed by Paris
  6. Berlin’s U Bahn is regarded as one of the world’s most reliable, safe and comfortable public transport systems. In Berlin, 97 percent of Berliners raved about their city’s transport network, with their metro U-Bahn offering travellers 175 stations across nine simple-to-navigate lines.
  7. In Africa, the rise of mega cities ,with populations in excess of 10 million , such as  Lagos, Nairobi, Cairo, and Kinshasa has led to  a rapid growth in both urban rail systems, and more traditional heavy rail.
  8. Cairo has Africa’s oldest metro system ,which only opened in 1987 , and Addis Abiba it’s newest.
  9. After the London metro  the oldest in Europe is In Budapest . While the original metro line M1 is the oldest electrified underground railway in continental Europe, it is not the oldest underground railway. Outside of the United Kingdom, the oldest fully underground urban railway in the world is the Tünel line in Istanbul, built in 1875. However since Tünel is a funicular railway, it may or may not be considered a “metro” line, in the classic sense. In Budapest, The original line M1 ran for 5 kilometres. It was inaugurated on May 2, 1896, the year of the millennium (the thousandth anniversary of the arrival of the Magyars), by emperor Franz Joseph. It was named “Franz Joseph Underground Electric Railway Company”.
  10. The first section of Buenos Aires Underground opened in 1913, making it the 13th subway in the world and the first underground railway in Latin America, the Southern Hemisphere, and the Spanish-speaking world, with the Madrid Metro opening five years later, in 1919.