Asian cities top the metro ridership ranking

© Tokyo Metro Co

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Asian cities dominate the ranking of the world’s biggest and busiest metro systems according to a new report from UITP.

The report, ‘World Metro Figures,’ is a comprehensive study on the current state of the world’s metro networks and highlights potential future developments. The report shows that in 2014, 157 cities around the world had a metro system in operation, nearly two thirds of which were in Asia and Europe.  

In 2014 alone, more than 500km of new lines were added in cities around the world.

The world’s busiest metro network is the Tokyo metropolitan area, with almost 3.6bn passenger journeys per year, a 10% increase compared to 2012. Chinese metro systems have also enjoyed significant growth and Beijing (3.4bn, +39%) and Shanghai (2.8bn, +25%) are 2nd and 3rd respectively. Rounding out the top five are Seoul (2.6bn, +8%) and Moscow (2.4bn, -1%). Metros carry over 160m passengers per day (+7.9% compared to 2012), nearly half of which are in Asia.

Asian cities are also on top when it comes to the world’s longest metro networks, with the Chinese cities of Shanghai and Beijing boasting 548km and 527km of lines respectively, while London rounds out the top three with 436km. In 2014 alone, more than 500km of new lines were added in cities around the world.

The growing trend for automation

The report also reveals that nearly a quarter of the world’s metro systems have at least one fully automated metro line. There are 732km of automated metro lines in 35 cities around the world, with Dubai (80km), Vancouver (68km) and Singapore (65km) at the forefront in terms of infrastructure length.

In the 40 years since the first fully automated metro line, the growth in automation has accelerated exponentially with every decade: current forecasts estimate the total to exceed 2,200km by 2025, with the MENA region and Asia spearheading this growth. 

Read the report.


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