|Metro, Subway, MRT, Rapid Transit, U-Bahn, Metrorail — whatever you like to call it, here's a creative global resource for it. Metrobits.org is a non-profit database, a virtual grid of thousands of chunks of data, to a good deal contributed by users and always backed by reliable sources. There are two key categories:
• articles (menu on the left) compare the world's metros in respect of their various features.
• city pages (menu on the right) list the details of each metro.
30 March 2013 — Major ridership update. Latest ridership data by John Kennes is online. For more updates, see the Updates page.
24 March 2013 — New interactive Metro Logos page. All metros have logos or symbols to mark their station entrances, rolling stock, and printed matter, such as maps or tickets. The new page comprises the entire Metrobits logo collection. Ordering and display size can be changed, logos used in more than one city or metro-like systems can be interactively included or excluded. Click on a logo to access the city page.
10 March 2013 — Abandoned Lines — new category. A new page as well as a new section on every affected city's page reflects the metro sections that have been closed. There are more of them in the world than you might imagine!
9 March 2013 — Metro Movies to be a major category. The touch point between subways and arts has always been a key theme at Metrobits, and the new Metro Movies category fits into it perfectly. The movies list can now be sorted by title, year, or city. The database has been pumped up to contain 142 movies filmed in 25 subways (51 of them in New York!), every city page of which now contains a Metro Movies section near the end of the page. So grap some popcorn and enjoy! Suggestions for more movies are always welcome.
3 January 2013 — Beijing now has the longest subway system. With the latest data update, we have a new longest subway system of the world in our database: Beijing surpassed Shanghai on 29 December by 5 km. The updates: Beijing (442 km, +50 stations), Chongqing (+18 stations), Izmir (+2), Shanghai (+16), Wuhan (+20).
28 December 2012 — Two new metros (one of them driverless) and several updates. A new driverless metro with 17 stations opened in Brescia, Italy on 22 December. Hangzhou, China got a new metro on 24 November, with 48 stations. Data updates feature Dubai (+1 station), Genoa (+1), Hamburg (+2), Kaohsiung (+1), Paris (+1), St. Petersburg (+2), and Tehran (+4).
21 December 2012 — The new Metro Movies page lists movies with significant film sequences set on subway trains, tracks, or in stations.
18 November 2012 — Data update to another five cities: a new line opened in Mexico City (+20 stations), new stations on existing lines added to Chicago (+1), Minsk (+3), Oslo (+4), Naples (+1).
4 November 2012 — Data update to thirteen cities: New metro lines opened in Chengdu (+19 stations), Chongqing (+21), Istanbul (+15), Sofia (+10) and Tianjin (2 new lines, +40 stations). Furthermore, new stations on existing lines opened in Kiev (+1), Lisbon (+3), Miami (+1), Moscow (+1), Nizhniy Novgorod (+1), Seoul (+9), Taipei (+2) and Yekaterinburg (+1).
15 August 2012 — As a fresh musical link between arts and subways, Metroland's new album Mind the Gap" brings to mind a range of metro myths with titles like Mind the Gap or Harry Beck. It's More Fun to Commute is a derivation of It's More Fun to Compute by the groundbraking 1970s electronic music band Kraftwerk. Why do we mention all this here? The CD inlet centerfold features Metrobits' statistics data (metrolandmusic).
1 July 2012 — New metro in Kunming and updates to Izmir, Lima, Pittsburgh, Rome, Sofia, and Volgograd.
24 June 2012 — A scientific study found similarities between subway networks that have developed independently. In most large networks, the number of stations is proportional to the square of the number of branches, the branches bear about half of the number of stations, and the average diameter of branches is about twice the average radial extension of the core. Journal of the Royal Society (PDF, 12 pages).
29 April 2012 — New subway in Suzhou, China. Another new subway system opened in China with a line 25.7 km long with 24 stations. Suzhou page.
15 January 2012 — Addition to the Lost & Found section: official metro map mugs that are edited by very few transit operators in the world. Read more...
1 December 2011 — A new metro in Almaty was put into operation. For its beautiful station designs it earned a Metrobits star right away and a new entry on the Metro Arts and Architecture page.
14 November 2011 — Train width data of over 100 metros added to World Metro Database, as well as gauge, voltage and power supply data. Hidden Cities page renamed to Metro Candidates and Vilnius added to it.
5 November 2011 — Metrobits data update: Bangalore (new metro), Barcelona (+1 station), Buenos Aires (+1 station), Bursa (+3 stations), Chongqing (+18 stations), Mashhad (new metro), Paris (+1 station), Singapore (+13 stations). Mashhad logo added.
3 November 2011 — In Paris, driverless operation has been introduced to line 1, starting with automated and driver-operated trains running on the same tracks. Full automation and platform doors are planned. Line 14 has been fully driverless since its inauguration in 1998.
23 October 2011 — Update to the Berlin U-Bahn Architectural Map: stations by Berlin's four busiest metro architects are now colour coded. Circular station symbols denominate preserved historic stations.
20 October 2011 — Two new metro systems: the one in Bangalore has opened today. The one in Algiers is scheduled to open on 1 November 2011. Missing data to be added soon!
18 September 2011 — Data update to 14 metro systems. One of them is the new metro system in Xi'an. The Chinese city, famous for its ancient Terracotta Army, got a metro on 16 September 2011. more...
28 June 2011 — Data update to nine cities. Since the previous update, 103 new metro stations have been opened: Bilbao (2), Busan (12), Manila (1), Milan (4), Nagoya (4), Shenzhen (69), Tehran (5), Turin (6). China's Shenzhen almost tripled its length and jumped from 43 to 14 in the worldwide ranking in just three months. The choice of a new data source slightly changed our figures for Kolkata.
Scroll down for more news...
||Countries with more metro systems are blown up in this distorted fun map (cartogram). Shades of colour correspond with the number of metros per area. Created using Mapresso and metrobits.org's data.
Our planet has now 187 metro systems (according to Metrobits' criteria). There are 88 ‘metros’ and 21 ‘subways’, the rest has other official names, such as MRT, Metrorail, or U-Bahn. The first line opened 1863 in London. Today, 590 lines worldwide with a combined length of 11,086 km serve 9,755 stations (or 8,892 with transfer stations counted once) with 1.21 km average station distance. 120 million daily passengers pay an average fare of € 1.16 for a ride of 10 stations or 10 km.
Trains on 35 circle lines are orbiting through 28 cities. 33 systems run on the left track, 113 on the right. 36 cities have driverless lines, 47 shelter their platforms with screen doors, 24 have rubber-tyred lines. 14 metros run 24 hours at least once a week, 7 of them every night. 24 stations in 13 cities display archaeological artefacts found during metro construction. 18 different exclusive typefaces are in use by metro operators. 31 dedicated metro museums around the globe and 13 guided tours are awaiting your visit.
Figures updated daily from the Metrobits database. Font colours correspond to the website sections. Latest update: 2013-06-17.
||How the number of metro systems increased since the world's first line opened in London in 1863. Graph based on opening dates from the World Metro Database.
8 April 2011. The new Comparing Maps page displays previews of schematic (official) and to-scale maps of currently 62 cities side by side.
4 April 2011. New RSS feed. After two attempts before 2009 to establish a Metrobits RSS feed using free mediator websites, this time it will probably be more reliable as it's fed directly from the database.
20 March 2011. All links throughout the website are now displayed with an underline. Web design gurus like Jakob Nielsen say it's more user friendly and makes navigation easier. Love it or loath it? -- don't hesitate to tell (you'll possibly have to hit Shift+Reload to see it).
2 March 2011. Major update as of 27 Febr 2011 by Jordi: new numerical data for the subways in Adana, Athens, Beijing, Bursa, Delhi, Guangzhou, Istanbul, Kazan, Kharkov, Kiev, Madrid, Milan, Novosibirsk, Pittsburgh, Saint Petersburg, San Francisco, Santiago, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Taipei.
19 Febr 2011. Metro maps at Metrobits! Thanks to a collaboration with cityrailtransit.com, we are now able to display map previews on some 137 of the city pages: neat real-distance maps of metro, subway, or LRT lines.
Also worth taking a look at are the line histories from cityrailtransit.com. They can be found in the Generated Links section of 155 of Metrobits' city pages. Cityrailtransit.com is a website about the subways of the world with a focus on maps, line histories (timelines) and galleries.
13 November 2010. A new metro went into service in the city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. It will be operated driverless from mid-2011.
27 September 2010. The world's 177th (according to Metrobits' criteria) metro system has opened its (platform screen) doors in Chengdu, China.
10 September 2010. New Barcelona gallery.
24 August 2010. Metrobits has a new page that lists nearly all Official Transit Websites.
10 April 2010. Shanghai overtook London as the world's largest metro network. Exactly 15 years after opening its first metro line, an extension of Line 2 brings Shanghai's metro to a length of 420 km (excluding the maglev line).
3 May 2010. A new, glossy book called Metroine presents the rolling stock of 40 European cities in nicely arranged photos from different perspectives. There are only 1500 copies available in specialty stores, so don't wait too long to get yours!
Have your say!
6 Feb 2010. Every page (except this root page) now has an individual feedback section at its bottom. Feel free to share your subway wisdom with the world and write down your comments or additional facts you are aware of.
11 Oct 2009. There's only one metro line on this planet listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It's not Moscow's palace-style stations or Stockholm's painted caves, which might come to mind. It is Budapest's Line 1, the oldest metro on the European continent, with its restored tile-and-wood stations and narrow trains. It was added to UNESCO's Budapest entry in 2002 already. Definitely a fact to be noted on Metrobits, but it had escaped attention until now.
17 Sep 2009. On 9 September, the new metro in Dubai opened its first line with roughly 40 km, but with only ten stations. 19 remaining intermediate stations will follow soon.
1 May 2009. A Metrobits photo has made it on a rock album! The band 4 Letter Holiday from Leeds, UK had some time ago asked for the rights to use the photo, and now it can be seen on their debut album Contentment Is Happy Boredom. Style of music is a rock guitar sound and driving drums with a jazz-style and jamming feel. Download the album from iTunes, Amazon or other major music download sites. The band members have been working hard to raise funds for a CD version to be released very soon.
21 Nov 2008. Mark Ovenden, author of the bestselling book Metro Maps of the World, has launched his new title Paris Metro Style in Map and Station Design at the London Transport Museum. Co-authored by Julian Pepinster and Peter B. Lloyd, the tome is incredibly detailed and contains 500 maps and 500 photos — the result of three people's enthusiastic work over three years.
20 Nov 2008. Bucharest metro extended. Lausanne's metro line 2, which had seen public test runs in the preceding weeks, is now officially opened.
Subways need not be boring or dreary! Many operators of metros, subways or underground railways want to attract more passengers with good station design. This often means extra effort and higher costs for the metro operators but it seems to pay off when a metro is more than just a means of transport but something the residents can be proud of. Read more...
Most metros have logos or symbols to mark their station entrances, rolling stock, and printed matter such as maps or tickets. Since most metros around the world are indeed called 'metros' (only few are called subway, underground, U-Bahn, T-bana or something else), many metro logos are more or less fancy variations of the letter M. More about metro logos...
Some subway systems are stylish enough to communicate with their customers through exclusively designed typefaces for wayfinding signage and paperwork. More about metro fonts...