Metros are very often the fastest and most energy-efficient way to get around a city. They run on electricity and can easily be powered by renewable energy sources. With lines circulating on segregated infrastructure, metros avoid traffic jams and can transport large amounts of people, making them the backbone of many cities.
Some of the biggest and most well-known cities in the world are renowned for their metro lines. London’s “Tube”, New York City’s “Subway”, Hong Kong’s “MTR”: metros have a unique way of being woven into the fabric of a city’s culture, so much so that they often have a different nickname from city to city.
It’s no surprise that metros have a big role to play in many urban mobility networks worldwide: this is a mode with many benefits! In 2017, metros carried approximately 53 billion passengers in 178 cities. Considering an average occupancy of 1.3 passengers per private car, metros remove the equivalent of 133 million cars from city streets every day (Metros: the backbone of mobile cities and sustainable communities, UITP Knowledge Brief 2019).
Most advantages can be further amplified with fully automated metros. In the next five years, full automation is expected to become the mainstream design for new metro lines. The UITP Observatory of automated metros is a unique reference for the sector, and tracks developments in this field.