Subway systems have come a long way since London’s steam-hauled Metropolitan Railway opened in 1863, marking the beginning of rapid transit as we know it.
Steam engines eventually made way for electric traction systems, and soon the technology spread to cities around the globe.
Many of the world’s metro systems have their own unique features that set them apart, from the stunning underground “palaces” in Moscow to the high-tech stations of Seoul, complete with heated seats and Wi-Fi network access.
Here are some interesting stats from metro systems around the world.
Began operating: 1915 for postal employees; 1927 for all passengers
Number of stations: 285
Number of lines: 13
Daily ridership: 8.7 million
Annual ridership: 3.217 billion
Did you know? Tokyo’s metro system has special cars reserved for women.
Began operating: 1900, during the World’s Fair
Number of stations: 303
Number of lines: 16
Daily ridership: 4.21 million
Annual ridership: 1.527 billion
Did you know? The Paris Metro was the first system to use rubber tires on its cars.
Began operating: 1935
Number of stations: 200
Number of lines: 12
Daily ridership: 9.716 million
Annual ridership: 2.491 billion
Did you know? Many of Moscow’s metro stations resemble baroque-themed palaces.
New York City, United States
Began operating: 1904
Number of stations: 469
Number of lines: 34
Daily ridership: 5.6 million
Annual ridership: 1.751 billion
Did you know? Laid end to end, NYC’s 842 miles of subway tracks would stretch to Chicago.
London, United Kingdom
Began operating: 1863
Number of stations: 270
Number of lines: 11
Daily ridership: 3.23 million
Annual ridership: 1.305 billion
Did you know? The London Underground is the world’s oldest metro system.
17 November 2017 by Emma Kantrowitz
10 February 2016 by Daniel Rosen