15 Fascinating Facts About The World’s Metro Systems

Yes, North Korea does have a working metro.

1. In Japan, there are special metro cars reserved especially for women.

Other countries including Egypt, India, Iran, Taiwan, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Dubai have also implemented women-only sections of transportation in order to combat issues of personal safety during travel.

2. It is illegal to eat, drink, or smoke on the Washington D.C. metro because of the extra costs associated with cleaning the carpet. Yup, THE CARPET.

From the D.C. Metro website: “It is unlawful to eat, drink or smoke in the Metro system because of the labor and cost associated with maintaining the cleanliness of the transportation system as well as for safety reasons.”

3. The Moscow metro is commonly regarded as having the most beautiful stations in the world.

Ian Walton / Getty

4. In fact, there is a train in Moscow called the “Aquarelle Train” that displays replicas of famous works of art for its passengers to enjoy.

5. Joseph Stalin reportedly built a secret metro system (known as “Metro-2”) to be used by the military in times of duress during the Cold War.

6. The London Underground is the world’s oldest metro system.

Hulton Archive / Getty

It was opened in 1863.

7. The New York City subway — with 468 stations — is the largest subway system by number of stations.

8. The Seoul metro is the world’s largest in terms of passenger-route length*.

*The New York City system is technically longer in terms of track length, but much of New York’s track is unused for passenger travel — making Seoul’s subway the largest in terms of passenger-track length.

9. All but six of the world’s 51 busiest train stations are located in Japan.

Tokyo is the busiest metro system with 3.1 billion annual passengers. Seoul is second busiest, with 2.51 billion passengers, and Beijing is third, with 2.46 billion. Source: New York City MTA “Worldwide Annual Subway Ridership”

10. The Arsenalna metro station in Kiev, Ukraine, is the world’s deepest, at 346 feet (105.5 meters) underground.

© AMY / Wikimedia Commons / http://CC-BY-SA-3.0

11. The Copenhagen metro is a 24/7 driverless electric system with a sweet view.

12. The word “metro” actually comes from an abbreviated form of the “Paris Metropolitan”.

“Métro is the abbreviated name of the company which originally operated most of the network: La Compagnie du chemin de fer métropolitain de Paris, shortened to “Le Métropolitain”. That was quickly abbreviated to métro, which became a common word also used to designate all subway networks.” Source

13. The Hong Kong metro is equipped with 3G cell phone service, meaning passengers can access the internet even when underground.

Wifi is also available throughout South Korea’s metro systems and is currently in the process of being implemented in New York City.

14. There are currently only four cities on the African continent with metro lines.

Casablanca (pictured above), Cairo, Algiers, and Tunis.

15. The Pyongyang metro in North Korea costs 5 KP₩ (about $0.03) per ticket.

Much like Russia, there are also reports of a secret secondary metro system located in Pyongyang.

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