New data reveals popularity of metro systems throughout the world

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The Stockholm Metro. Photo: Gella.
The Stockholm Metro. Photo: Gella.

Every single day 168 million passengers use metros across the world. But where are all of these systems situated and which ones have the highest ridership?

New data presented to the media by the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) at InnoTrans answers these questions and much more.

By the end of 2017, there were metros in 182 cities in 56 countries. Of these, 17 are in North America (See the diagram below for more detail), 19 in Latin America, 46 in Europe, 11 in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), 16 in Eurasia and 73 in the Asia-Pacific.

Metro networks worldwide in 2017. Grey indicates a country without a metro network. Photo: UITP.
Metro networks worldwide in 2017. Grey indicates a country without a metro network. Photo: UITP.

Between 2012-2017, world metro ridership increased by 19.5 per cent, with the MENA region proving the highest growth area with an increase of 58 per cent. Eurasia was the only region to experience a decline in passenger numbers (three per cent).

UITP analysis revealed that moderate growth of 10 per cent in the North American region hides a contrasting situation. Whereas Canadian metros and New York have experienced significant growth, the region’s other 13 metros have shown a decrease in passengers.


The top 10 metros by annual ridership (millions) are as follows: 

  1. Tokyo – 3,463 
  2. Moscow – 2,369
  3. Shanghai – 2,044
  4. Beijing – 1,988
  5. Seoul – 1,885
  6. New York City – 1,806
  7. New Delhi – 1,789
  8. Guangzhou – 1,730
  9. Mexico City – 1,678
  10. Hong Kong – 1,600

New Delhi replaces Paris from 2015’s top 10. Seven of the top 10 systems are in Asia.


UITP data from 2017 shows the Asia-Pacific region recorded 26,690 million annual passengers, putting it far ahead of any other region. The area with the second highest amount of passengers was Europe with 10,747 million passengers.

Ridership between 2012-2017. Photo: UITP.
Ridership between 2012-2017. Photo: UITP.

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UITP rail director Laurent Dauby said: “New metro developments have never been as intense as in the last five years, with the opening of no less than 103 new lines. On
average, 1,400km of new metros will enter revenue service each year over the next five years. This, together with brownfield modernisation projects, offer robust business opportunities for a supply chain in deep reorganisation.”

Looking ahead, UITP predicts that an average of 1,400km of metro lines will be added each year between 2018-2022.

The opening of metro systems from 1860 to 2019. Photo: UITP.
The opening of metro systems throughout the world. Photo: UITP.

Read more: Major British Steel contracts rubber-stamped in Berlin


 

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