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|Locale||Greater Tokyo Area, Japan|
|Transit type||Rapid transit|
|Number of lines||9|
|Number of stations||179|
|Daily ridership||6.44 million (FY2012)|
|Website||Tokyo Metro (English)|
|Began operation||1927 as Tokyo Underground Railway
(1941 as Teito Rapid Transit Authority; 2004 under current name)
|Operator(s)||Tokyo Metro Co., Ltd.
(privately held company formed in joint partnership by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT))
|Number of vehicles||2,773 cars (2012)|
|System length||195.1 km (121.2 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) for Ginza & Marunouchi lines
Tokyo Metro Co., Ltd. (東京メトロ Tōkyō Metoro?), most commonly known as Tokyo Metro, is a rapid transit system in the special wards of Tokyo Prefecture. Although it is not the only rapid transit system operating in Tokyo, it has the highest ridership.
The company replaced the Teito Rapid Transit Authority (帝都高速度交通営団 Teito Kōsokudo Kōtsū Eidan?), commonly known as Eidan or TRTA, on April 1, 2004. TRTA was administered by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, and jointly funded by the national and metropolitan governments. It was formed in 1941, although its oldest lines date back to 1927 with the opening of the Tokyo Underground Railway the same year.
The other major subway operator is Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation (Toei Subway) which is owned solely by the government of Tokyo. Tokyo Metro and Toei trains form completely separate networks. Prepaid rail passes can freely interchange between the two networks (as well as other rail companies in the area), but fares are assessed separately for legs on each of these systems and regular ticket holders must purchase a second ticket, or a special transfer ticket, to change from a Toei line to a Tokyo Metro line and vice versa. Though, most Tokyo Metro (and Toei) line offer through service to lines outside of central Tokyo run by other carriers, and this can somewhat complicate the ticketing.
Much effort is made to make the system accessible to non-Japanese speaking users:
- Many train stops are announced in both English and Japanese. Announcements also provide connecting line information.
- Ticket machines can switch between English and Japanese user interfaces.
- Train stations are signposted in English and Japanese (in kanji and hiragana). There are also numerous signs in Chinese (in simplified characters) and Korean.
- Train stations are now also consecutively numbered on each color-coded line, allowing even non-English speakers to be able to commute without necessarily knowing the name of the station. For example, Shinjuku Station on the Marunouchi Line is also signposted as M-08 with a red colored circle surrounding it; even if a commuter could not read the English or Japanese station names on signs or maps, he or she could simply look for the red line and then find the appropriately numbered station on said line.
Many stations are also designed to help blind people as railings often have Braille at their base, and raised yellow rubber guide strips are used on flooring throughout the network.
Tokyo Metro stations began accepting contactless (RFID) Pasmo stored value cards in March 2007 to pay fares, and the JR East Suica system is also universally accepted. Both these passes also can be used on surrounding rail systems throughout the area and many rail lines in other areas of Japan. Due to the complexity of the fare systems in Japan, most riders converted to these cards very quickly even though there is a significant charge to be issued a card.
The Tokyo Metro is extremely punctual and has regular trains arriving less than five minutes apart most of the day and night. However, it does not run 24 hours a day. While through service with other companies complicates this somewhat, the last train generally starts at midnight and completes its service by 01:00, and the first train generally starts at 05:00.
Tokyo Metro indicated in its public share offering that it would cease line construction once the Fukutoshin Line is completed, and the final phase of that construction is near completion. This scheduled to be completed in March 2013 with the opening of the connection with the Tōkyū Tōyoko Line at Shibuya Station which will allow through service as far as Motomachi-Chūkagai Station in Yokohama. That said, there are several lines such as the Hanzōmon Line that still have extensions in their official plans, and in the past, these plans have tended to happen, though often over several decades.
There are also some other rail project proposals in Tokyo which would involve large-scale tunneling projects, but these are unlikely to involve Tokyo Metro. The only proposal that has any suggestion of possible Tokyo Metro involvement is the prominent project proposed as a new Narita and Haneda Airport connection through a tunnel through central Tokyo to a new station adjacent to the existing Tokyo Station. This line is often described as a bypass of the current Toei Asakusa Line. It would link the Keisei Oshiage Line (with service to Narita Airport) to the Keikyu Main Line (with service to Haneda Airport) through Tokyo Station. The 400 billion yen project would be largely divided between the Tokyo metropolitan government and the Japanese central government (which is similar to the structure of Tokyo Metro) with the rail operator or operators paying the balance. The suggestion of Tokyo Metro involvement comes mostly from its destription as a bypass to the Asakusa Line which might imply it to be a subway line, but the principle proposal only includes one stop in Tokyo (at Tokyo Station). The principle justification of the proposal is to reduce connection time from Narita Airport to Tokyo Station by 13 minutes, and the design of the proposal makes this much more a high-speed rail project than a subway project (though, it would likely not be up to all of Japan's Shinkansen high-speed rail standards). Currently the only high-speed connection to the Narita Airport is the Keisei Skyliner which runs to Ueno, but there is ordinary train service between these airports using the Asakusa Line. The proposal would essentially allow the Skyliner to run to the more important Tokyo Station as well as establish a high-speed connection to the Haneda Airport.
Tokyo Metro also owns a number of commercial developments which mostly consist of shopping developments at major stations. It also owns the Subway Museum near Nishi-Kasai Station on the Tokyo Metro Tōzai Line which opened on July 12, 1986 and features a few retired trains which once operated on the Ginza and Marunouchi Lines as well as a maintenance vehicle.
Pasmo and Suica are accepted on the Tokyo Metro, as well as on railway stations operated by other companies. Transfers between Tokyo Metro subway lines and Toei Subway lines are usually not free, but one gets a discount if one uses the Pasmo or Suica cards to transfer between lines.
According to the company, an average of 6.33 million people used the company's nine subway routes each day in 2009. The company made a profit of ¥63.5 billion in 2009.
Altogether, the Tokyo Metro is made up of nine lines operating on 195.1 kilometers (121.2 mi) of route.
List of Tokyo Metro lines
|Line||Japanese||Route||Stations||Length (km)||Opened||Gauge||Current supply|
|orange||Line 3||Ginza Line||銀座線||Shibuya to Asakusa||19||14.3||1927||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)||600 V DC,
|red||Line 4||Marunouchi Line||丸ノ内線||Ogikubo to Ikebukuro||24||24.2||1954|
|丸ノ内線分岐線||Nakano-Sakaue to Hōnanchō||4||3.2||1962|
|silver||Line 2||Hibiya Line||日比谷線||Naka-Meguro to Kita-Senju||21||20.3||1961||1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)||1,500 V DC,
|sky blue||Line 5||Tōzai Line||東西線||Nakano to Nishi-Funabashi||23||30.8||1964|
|green||Line 9||Chiyoda Line||千代田線||Yoyogi-Uehara to Kita-Ayase||20||24.0||1969|
|yellow||Line 8||Yūrakuchō Line||有楽町線||Wakōshi to Shin-Kiba||24||28.3||1974|
|purple||Line 11||Hanzōmon Line||半蔵門線||Shibuya to Oshiage||14||16.8||1978|
|dark aqua||Line 7||Namboku Line||南北線||Meguro to Akabane-Iwabuchi||19||21.3||1991|
|brown||Line 13||Fukutoshin Line||副都心線||Wakōshi to Shibuya||16||11.9A||2008|
A Note: Excluding the 8.3 km stretch between Wakoshi and Kotake-mukaihara shared with Yurakucho Line.
Through services to other lines
- Namboku Line shares tracks of the section from Meguro to Shirokane-Takanawa with Toei Mita Line, 2.3 km.
There are a total of 179 "unique" stations (i.e., counting stations served by multiple lines only once) on the Tokyo Metro network. Most stations are located within the 23 special wards and fall inside the Yamanote Line rail loop — some wards such as Setagaya and Ōta have no stations (or only a limited number of stations), as rail service in these areas has historically been provided by the Toei Subway or any of the various major private railways (大手私鉄?).
Major interchange stations, connecting three or more Tokyo Metro lines, include the following:
- Kokkai-gijidō-mae / Tameike-Sannō
Other major stations provide additional connections to other railway operators such as the Toei Subway, JR East, and the various private railways, including (but not limited to) the following:
|Ueno||Taitō, north of Ueno Station||01, 1000||Ginza|
|Shibuya||Shibuya, west of Shibuya Station||None (inspections only)||Ginza|
|Nakano||Nakano, south of Nakano-Fujimichō Station||02||Marunouchi|
|Koishikawa||Bunkyō, between Myōgadani Station and Kōrakuen Station||None (inspection and renovation only)||Ginza, Marunouchi|
|Senju||Arakawa, north of Minami-Senju Station||03||Hibiya|
|Takenotsuka||Adachi, south of Takenotsuka Station||03||Hibiya|
|Fukagawa||Kōtō, south of Tōyōchō Station||05, 07, 15000||Tōzai|
|Gyōtoku||Ichikawa, south of Myōden Station||None (inspections only)||Tōzai|
|Ayase||Adachi, north of Kita-Ayase Station||06, 5000, 6000, 16000||Chiyoda, Namboku, Yūrakuchō, Saitama Rapid|
|Wakō||Wakō, north of Wakō-shi Station||7000, 10000||Fukutoshin, Yūrakuchō|
|Shin-Kiba||Kōtō, southeast of Shin-Kiba Station||None (inspection and renovation only)||Chiyoda, Hanzōmon, Namboku, Tōzai, Yūrakuchō|
|Saginuma||Kawasaki, inside Saginuma Station||08, 8000||Hanzōmon|
|Ōji||Kita, north of Ōji-Kamiya Station||9000||Namboku|
Tokyo Metro owns the following types of rolling stock.
1,435 mm gauge lines
1,067 mm gauge lines
- 03 series – Hibiya Line
- 05 series – Tōzai Line
- 06 series – Chiyoda Line
- 07 series – Tōzai Line
- 08 series – Hanzōmon Line
- 5000 series – Chiyoda Line
- 6000 series – Chiyoda Line
- 7000 series – Yūrakuchō Line, Fukutoshin Line
- 8000 series – Hanzōmon Line
- 9000 series – Namboku Line
- 10000 series – Yūrakuchō Line, Fukutoshin Line
- 15000 series – Tōzai Line
- 16000 series – Chiyoda Line
Trains from other operators are also used on Tokyo Metro lines as a consequence of inter-running services.
As is common with rail transport in Tokyo, Tokyo Metro trains are severely crowded during peak periods. During the morning peak period, platform attendants (oshiya) are sometimes needed to push riders and their belongings into train cars so that the doors can close. On some Tokyo Metro lines, the first or last car of a train is reserved for women during peak hours.
- "Business Contents - Transportation Services - Business Situation". Tokyo Metro Co., Ltd. Retrieved 2014-06-07.
- "営業状況" [Business Conditions] (in Japanese). 東京地下鉄株式会社 [Tokyo Metro Co., Ltd.] Retrieved 2014-06-07.
- http://mdn.mainichi.jp/travel/news/20120216p2g00m0dm027000c.html[dead link]
- Martin, Alex (August 3, 2010). "Ubiquitous Tokyo subways moving the daily masses". The Japan Times. p. 3.
- "各駅の乗降人員ランキング" [Table of Traffic Performance by Station] (in Japanese). 東京地下鉄株式会社 [Tokyo Metro Co., Ltd.] Retrieved 2014-06-07.
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