It might seem routine or ordinary, but a good metro system is as enjoyable for a local as it is for a visitor. It can leave a great impression on visitors because when in transit, time is of the essence. It is a combination of several factors, frequency of trains, accessibility of stops, connections, cleanliness and much more. Cost and convenience are major factors too. Oftentimes a good metro system is a counterbalance to a city with traffic and congestion problems as well.
Paris is a city to walk and stroll for sure, but spend enough time wandering its lengthy streets and boulevards and one will find the usefulness of the 245 stations on 14 lines. The stations are picturesque all the while being clean and orderly. The Art Nouveau displays and architecture by Hector Guimard are unique. There is good integration with the RER trains that connect to the airport and suburbs. A single ticket costs €1.60 within the inner zones and other combinations like multiple day passes and booklets of single tickets can be gotten at discount.
Moscow of all subway systems leaves the most lasting impressions. The stunningly deep confines, the ornate displays of marble, gold, chandeliers, mosaics and architectural genius all contribute to an overwhelming experience The general layout is concentric rings around the city with lines that criss cross from one side to the other. The system operates mostly all day, shutting down only between 1:15am and 05:30am. Tickets are very cheap and multiple ride cards are accessible. Trains are often older, but run frequently and fast. Some lag is possible during rush hours.
A great city for tourists and locals, the Madrid metro system carries its own fair share of passengers. It is one of the top ten busiest lines in the world. Security is good, trains move efficiently and stations are home to underground stores, cafes, exhbitions of art and science as well as planned and impromptu cultural events.
It is a metro that was planned and attempted several times, but finally got some lines going in the late 90’s and early 200’s. The city has since taken off as a giant in the subtropics of China’s mainland and so has the underground travel infrastructure. The system boasts now almost 150 stations, brightly illuminated platforms, well marked signs in English and Chinese and spotlessly clean environs. There is also a 48-minute express route to Hong Kong planned to open in 2015.
The so called “tube” is a central part of the city’s modern life as well as its history. The system is quite old and often cramped, but it is constantly kept updated and modern. This makes for efficient timing, clean trains and well routed access between stations. It is a bit more costly than other systems around the world. For fans of public transportation this is certainly one of the most iconic places to ride the trains and get around. The Oyster card is the best choice for an affordable ride. It is fully integrated with the above ground transit too, simply load the card with cash and move about the public transit system of London and its environs effortlessly.
As far as metro’s go this one isn’t too big on underground activity. Dubai’s super sleek city transit runs along the main thoroughfares of the city’s highways and downtown. It is a good thing too, one can watch the endless parade of ultra modern skyscrapers slip by with ease. The stations are modern with WiFi connectivity and the trains are comfortable. Be sure to pay attention to the car you are entering as some are only for women and children. The Metro lines and stations are expanding in step with the development of the city. For tourists, be assured that all your major sites to see will fall along the routes of the Metro.
The MTR type trains that are found throughout Asia have a strong root in Hong Kong’s memorable system. The provinces of Hong Kong’s greater area are well connected. The airport and Mainland China are the two Termini of the extensive network. Travel tickets and passes are more expensive than most metro’s but a savvy traveler will find out that using the Octopus card wisely and the various transfers can save funds and make journeys quicker. Time traveled to the New Territories and beyond can be upwards of an hour from the downtown.