METROBITS - Unearthing the world's subways' details since 2004


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A Bird's-Eye View on Metros

The latest statistics, based on's data, last updated 7 January 2017


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's data.

Our planet has now 205 metro systems, according to Metrobits' criteria. A majority of 101  are called metros and 21 subways, the rest has other labels, such as MRT, Metrorail, or U-Bahn. The first line opened 1863 in London. Today, 673 lines worldwide with a combined length of 13,543 km serve 11,501 stations, including 1,047 transfer stations, which calculates to 1.25 km average station distance.

Some fun facts: Trains on 41 circle lines are orbiting through 32 cities. 33 systems run on the left track, 113 on the right. 37 cities have driverless lines, 64 safeguard platforms with screen doors, 24 have rubber-tyred lines. 24 metros run 24 hours at least once a week, 8 of them every night. Some 120 million daily passengers pay an average fare of € 1.15 for a ride. Reportedly, 75 cities have fare gates, 35 use the honour system, 33 offer smartcards, and 1 is free to ride! 61 interconnected metro cities form 16 clusters. Abandoned sections are found in 24 cities.

Getting to arts and quality of life, at least 57 cities have notably beautiful metro stations, 34 are listed for their nice views, 27 metros are starring in at least 149 movies. 27 stations in 14 cities display archaeological artefacts found during their construction. 21 different exclusive typefaces are in use by metro operators. 47 dedicated metro museums around the globe and at least 19 guided tours are awaiting your visit! 35 cities have urban-rail access to beaches.


How the number of metro systems grew since the world's first ones opened in London in 1863 and in Chicago in 1892. Graph generated from the opening dates in the World Metro Database.

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