I rode Moscow's metro for a day, and it blew New York's subway system away

I rode Moscow's metro for a day, and it blew New York's subway system away

 

This is a big step up from the dark and dreary New York City subway. Dylan Love

The Moscow Metro is a delightful paradox; how is one of the largest metro systems in the world also one of the most efficient?

Moskovsky Metropoliten opened in 1935, offering one train line and 13 stations. By 2017, the system ballooned to 229 stations connected by 14 lines. Today there are 215 miles of track, making it the fifth-largest metro system in the world.

It continues to be developed aggressively. In September 2016, the metro opened a new line called the Central Circle. It traces a ring around the historical center of the city, connecting with every other line. They are on track to add nearly 100 new miles of track and 75 new stations by 2020.

There's even free wi-fi for every passenger.

We took a ride around the Moscow Metro to show how it leaves other mass transit systems in the dust.

 
Original Post

There were automated machines for buying a metro ticket just around the corner, but human attendants also work at every station. Their help is surely needed: daily metro ridership in Moscow averages just under 7 million people, occasionally peaking at more than 9 million.

There were automated machines for buying a metro ticket just around the corner, but human attendants also work at every station. Their help is surely needed: daily metro ridership in Moscow averages just under 7 million people, occasionally peaking at more than 9 million. Dylan Love

Moscow’s metro system is not only one of the largest in the world, but also one of the deepest. Large, looming escalators like these are a daily sight for Russian commuters entering, exiting, or transferring stations. Stay to the right if you want to ride it patiently, stay to the left if you’re climbing the stairs.

Moscow’s metro system is not only one of the largest in the world, but also one of the deepest. Large, looming escalators like these are a daily sight for Russian commuters entering, exiting, or transferring stations. Stay to the right if you want to ride it patiently, stay to the left if you’re climbing the stairs. Dylan Love

“Vykhod v gorod” means “exit to the city,” an important Russian phrase for every metro rider to know.

“Vykhod v gorod” means “exit to the city,” an important Russian phrase for every metro rider to know. Dylan Love

There has been a subtle push in recent years to make the Moscow metro system more accessible to those who don't understand Russian. They've added automated station announcements in English, for example, and some metro maps display station names in Latin characters instead of Cyrillic to help tourists approximate the sounds.

New York’s MTA executives could learn a few things from this metro system. There are never service changes or delays, your non-rush-hour rides are quite comfortable, and there’s beautiful, free internet for everyone with a connected device. Even when they’re traveling hundreds of feet underground, the Russians are doing it in style.

New York’s MTA executives could learn a few things from this metro system. There are never service changes or delays, your non-rush-hour rides are quite comfortable, and there’s beautiful, free internet for everyone with a connected device. Even when they’re traveling hundreds of feet underground, the Russians are doing it in style. Dylan Love

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