The metro system is a key factor in urban accessibility, as well as local economic growth. Thus, the majority of cities in Asia strive to develop their metro rail systems. Some cities focus on low ticket prices, cleanliness, safety, and large stations, while others improve their ticketing system and add more stations.
International transport statistics and a CNN report listed the best metro rail systems in the world. Based on these data, the following cities turned up in the top four in Asia:
Hong Kong’s MTR has eleven lines across the region. Tickets are conveniently available in automated machines, and trains turn up every few minutes to accommodate the crowd of commuters. Moreover, there is internet access in 42 stations; special facilities, such as Braille plates, for people with disability; and amenities inside the stations, such as shops, public washrooms, banks and food outlets.
The Seoul metro system has nine lines that accommodate around 7 million passengers a day. One quality that makes this metro system a standout is that the trains are climate controlled. In winter, for instance, passengers can comfortably sit in their heated and toasty seats.
Singapore has four major lines and one light rail transit across the entire region. According to SMRTCorpSG, SMRT is the second metro system in Asia that achieved an ISO 55001 standard – a certification for asset management system and compliance with safety procedures and systems. Thus, Singapore’s metro system is not only one of the best in Asia, but it is also one of the safest in the continent.
Japan is renowned for its advanced technology and punctuality, and these two concepts are apparent in their efficient metro system. The city’s fast and punctual trains serve almost 14 billion passengers in a day. Tokyo’s metro systems are also popular for their ‘pushers’ – workers whose sole job is to push passengers onto the train during rush hours.
These four cities are the benchmarks in metro systems, not just in Asia but also across the globe. Their efficient trains and rail systems should serve as an inspiration, as well as a challenge, to other countries in Asia.