World’s subway/MRT Competition!

Having been to many metropolitan cities and rode on their subways/MRTs, I feel the obligation to share with my friends the system maps of MRTs/Subways around the world. An extensive subway system can provide tremendous benefits to citizens and the environment. I hope to ride on even more subways in the future! (I personally knew London has a good subway system. However, it’s not included in my post since I haven’t been using it myself.)

1) Tokyo Subway

People who live in Tokyo can’t even tell you where to go. It was overwhelming for me to be standing in a subway station in Tokyo. I felt stressed just by standing there, watching people running around in hurries. No wonder the Japanese don’t get fat. And good luck trying to figure out what’s happening on this graph.  I was thinking of submitting this graph to a competition with the title “an Octopus or a Puzzle”?

2) Paris Subway

I love how the French plan their city. Paris’ city planning sets an example for many other metropolitan cities to follow. However, I could see how high the operating cost would be for such an extensive system, considering the French’s government give their workers 2 months summer vacations and unlimited sick leaves.

3) Shanghai Subway Map – 2020

Yes. As Chinese, we don’t live in the present. We live in dreams! Recently debuted was a new subway map of Shanghai for the year 2020. I can imagine the massive project work the government has to put in. My hope is such a massive project damages the environment less than it would benefit.

4) New York City Subway

The Big Apple is home to some of the world’s brightest minds. Although its subway trains are a bit out-dated comparing to some Asian fellows’, the system nonethless offers the convenience New Yorkers’ love. As a tourist, I found it easy to go around the city riding the subway.

5) Singapore MRT System

Singapore is a rich, well-managed island city state. The MRT system of Singapore is easy to use, yet extensive enough for most tourism activities. The trains are either brandnew or so well-maintained that I can’t tell they are not new. Locals might have to take buses sometimes to go to areas not covered by MRT. However, most buses in Singapore come every 5 minutes. There are many bus routes, and the buses are very new!

6) Chicago Metro

The wind city offers its residents a great metro system. Different than the New York subway system, Chicago’s metro is mostly on the ground, so you can siteseeing on the metro.Tourists enjoy the convenience of riding the metro all the way from the airport into the city. If the day is not too windy/freezing cold, you can ride the metro all the way to the golden coast restaurants and bars! 🙂

7) Taipei MRT System

I am currently living in Taipei, and I love its MRT system! For simple reasons – the trains are newer than North American trains , people are not as crazily busy as people in Tokyo, the routes are not as complicated as the ones in Paris. Taipei is extending its subway reach to attract more riders. Let’s hope Taipei successfully build a greener city transit system.

8) Hong Kong MRT System

Hong Kong is Asia’s world financial center. It consists of 3 islands, and is home to 8 million residents. It is not easy for a person to drive around the city, because peak hour traffic is a pain. To relieve traffic jams and offer residents the convenience to get around, the government built one of the world’s best MRT system. Even better, you can use the MRT card – the octopus card, to spend in most convenience stores on the island. (Taipei’s Easycard offers similar features. I am not sure if the Taiwanese learned from the Cantonese or the other way around. **)

9) Toronto Subway

Toronto is the biggest metropolitan city in Canada. It is proud of its multicultralism and frequent TTC strikes. Subway workers in Toronto strikes more often than the Japanese changes their prime ministers. However, besides an expensive fare, Torontonians get limited subway coverage. Our subway system is no more than a houseshoe plus a straight line. To get from/to the airport? Please ride a limo. Welcome to Toronto!

10) Houston Metro Route

I will be lying if I call it a “system”. It is a line with 6-8 stations.In the city of Houston, we do not walk or take buses! We have cars, people. Yup, no real subway for the 4th largest metropolitan areas in the U.S., home to 5 million people. The only time the metro is full is the month of Rodeo, when we wear cowboy outfits and rush to Reliant Stadium. (Now the Texans is playing really well, I suspect the metro would be full every game Sunday.)


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