Talk:List of metro systems

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DELHI METROS[edit] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:58, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

Lille Metro[edit]

Should Lille Metro be in the list? More like the system is a light metro, judging from its description: Trains are 2 metres (79 in) wide and 26 metres (85 ft) long (composed of permanently coupled two-car sets), and are rubber-tyred. Platforms are 52 metres (171 ft) in length, long enough for two units. Each unit can carry 156 passengers.gogo3o 07:38, 14 June 2015 (UTC)

It's included in UITP's list of world metro systems; and LRTA lists it as a "light metro" not "light rail". So I think it pretty much has to be included due to our sources (i.e. similar to Copenhagen Metro). I will note, though, that this is one of the systems that's double-listed here and at Medium-capacity rail transport system. --IJBall (contribstalk) 08:12, 14 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for answering. IMO a more clear definition of the different types of systems should be elaborated. As for Lille Metro, I've noticed that UrbanRail, although an unofficial source, also defines it as a metro. gogo3o 11:36, 14 June 2015 (UTC)

Precisely what is a metro?[edit]

This article, and the Rapid Transit article, don't give enough weight to the type of job done by a rapid transit system. The term metro should be reserved for inner-city systems. Suburban systems that mainly bring people from outer suburbs (like, for example, London's above-ground railways although they don't have to be above-ground) are quite different. Metro systems tend to have closely-spaced stations (typically below 1.5 kilometres), limited seating (each seated passenger takes the same floor space as two standing passengers) and enough doorways that the train can empty very quickly and refill almost as quickly.

I have calculated the average inter-station spacing for the metro systems in the large table in this article. Look at and you will see that about 95% of the systems in the table have average spacing of 2 kilometres or less. This tends to confirm my suggestion that metro systems have closely-spaced stations. The conspicuous outlier is BART. Should BART be in a table of metro systems? I don't think so although BART is certainly rapid transit. Its operations go well beyond San Francisco's limits and include other cities such as Oakland and Richmond.

The article does not comment on average station spacing. I think the second paragraph of Considerations should discuss average inter-station spacing among the other factors. I'll look around for something to refer to in the discussion. I also think the list of metro systems would benefit from an added column showing the average inter-station spacing however I don't have the resources to add a column to such a large table. Jswd (talk) 19:55, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

  • This is a vexed, and rather discussed issue. As you have stated, the problem is that what a metro system is is ill defined, but WP policy forbids original research, as such we report what others write. Inclusion really comes down to what reliable sources say; if reliable sources like UITP or APTA call a system a metro, so do we.
I'm also unsure of the usefulness of adding an additional column, especially given the generalised nature of average spacing over an entire system, it would also be hard to maintain. And, how would we deal with the fact that some systems count interchange stations as one station, while others count them as two? ColonialGrid (talk) 18:59, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for that ColonialGrid. Forget the additional column then. UITC do lists of metro systems so let's see how they decide eligibility. On page 4 of it says:

  • A metro is an urban guided transport system, mostly on rails, running on an exclusive right-of-way without any interference from other traffic or level crossings and mostly with some degree of drive automation and train protection. These design features allow high capacity trains to run with short headways and high commercial speed. Metros are therefore suitable for the carriage of high passenger flows.
  • Besides the above criteria, lines included in the above statistics run with trains composed of minimum two cars and with a total capacity of at least 100 passengers. Suburban railways (such as the Paris RER, the Berlin S-Bahn and the Kuala Lumpur International Airport express line) are not included. Systems that are based on light rail, monorail or magnetic levitation technology are included if they meet all other criteria. Suspended systems are not included.

Now let's look at Human Transit by Jarrett Walker which is already cited in the article. On page 64, he separates transit systems into express, rapid and local. Don't think that "express" means fast; it simply means that it only stops at the places mentioned and not anywhere else. Walker's rapid systems are essentially the same thing as metro systems.

Finally look at APTA. At it says "APTA members are public organizations that are engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne passenger services, and high-speed rail." Walker's three types would appear to be high-speed rail, commuter rail and subways.

So let's put the essence of those definitions into the Considerations paragraph. Do you have a better suggestion? Jswd (talk) 08:41, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

  • I have no objection to improving the considerations section, @IJBall: has been discussing an overhaul for a while, so I'd suggest being bold and make some edits. However, the UITP do consider BART a metro, so I oppose removing it from the list. ColonialGrid (talk) 10:26, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
  • The criteria for "metro" status is pretty much already spelled out in the 'Considerations' section, so I have no idea what Jswd thinks is missing. The issue here is that while the definitional characteristics of "metro" are pretty much already defined, the same people (e.g. UITP) behind these definitions then sometimes go ahead and ignore that a few systems don't quite meet all of the criteria and include them anyway... The bottom line is that you can't simply look at one criteria (e.g. inter-station distances), and use that to exclude a system – you have to look holistically at all of the criteria, and if a system meets the large majority of them (e.g. BART) then it will be considered a "metro", even if it falls short on a single criteria here and there. --IJBall (contribstalk) 16:11, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Oh, and one more thing: APTA absolutely, positively includes BART in its list of United States "rapid transit" systems (e.g. see the APTA Ridership Reports). So, basically, there's no one that doesn't count BART as a "metro" system. And, indeed, in downtown San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley, BART does effectively operate as one, in all the ways a traditional "metro" would. In any case, "metro" and "rapid transit" are considered synonymous terms. --IJBall (contribstalk) 16:16, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

I became interested in the definition when the CEO of an organisation set up to build a metro in my city said a metro network means a stand-alone network that is fully integrated with other modes of transport such as buses ... and trains. Stand-alone grates against integrated and apart from that the definition says little. I think the WP Considerations paragraph is too long, especially for what it says. Light rail (which this WP article doesn't cover however explaining the difference here is convenient) has trams or short trains (the world's longest are only about 70 metres) running on tracks which people are allowed to walk across. Heavy rail comes in three versions which Walker calls express, rapid and local. Walker's local trains are obviously the same as metro. Metro trains serve short-distance travel using cars designed to let passengers board and alight quickly. In peak hour, many metro passengers have to stand because seats are minimised in favour of open floor space. Metro stations are rarely much more than 1km apart.

Turning to the references 5, 6 and 7 in the WP article:

  • Schwandl says a metro is primarily used to move within the city.
  • The APTA Fact Book is plainly talking about both Walker's local trains and rapid trains in its definition of heavy rail. For reasons best known to its authors it does not discuss metro systems separately.
  • The National Transit Database Glossary does not contain the word Metro so is irrelevant.

If UITP and/or APTA think that BART is a metro system, that is their problem. The overwhelming evidence from the list in the WP article is that literally 95% of metro systems have 2km or less between stations, simply because they operate within their city and carry people relatively short distances.

I think that Considerations needs re-writing to make it shorter and more relevant to what metro systems are and do. Jswd (talk) 23:28, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

So, you want to donwplay APTA's and UITP's definitions in favor of one specific source? Somehow that doesn't strike me as a particularly good application of sourcing... Again, interstation spacing is simply one consideration among several. Bottom line: This debate has been going on in this article for years, and nobody is ever going to be 100% satisfied by what's included and what isn't. But the sources we currently use do the best job of covering all of the bases. If you try to rewrite the 'Considerations' section in a way that is a radical departure from what it currently says, there's no guarantee that another editor around here won't object. --IJBall (contribstalk) 23:51, 28 June 2015 (UTC)
I would vociferously object, actually. Two major standards bodies, including the main international one, are the current main sources for this list, and the considerations section. That easily trumps any anonymous source. And if they both include BART, the problem is yours for not following g the most reliable sources we have. oknazevad (talk) 01:21, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

Against. Station spacing is at best an extremely weak argument for exclusion of a system. Also regarding your points:

  • City in "is primarily used to move within the city" is extremely subjective, it could mean the city proper of San Francisco or the entire Bay Area. So saying system X is a Metro because it is used to move within the "city" is problematic.
  • National Transit Database Glossary uses the term Heavy Rail (HR) for its definition of Metro Terramorphous (talk) 02:24, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
Irrespective of the the characteristics of most metro systems, what you are suggesting is WP:OR, and against policy. We relay what reliable sources say, and reliable sources say BART is a metro, so we also say BART is a metro. ColonialGrid (talk) 14:17, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

Then how about we find out how UITP defines metro systems and replace Considerations with that. Or simply a single sentence saying that heavy rail systems in cities are metro if and only if UITP says they are? Jswd (talk) 22:23, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

  • That's overly reductive. Wikipedia is a tertiary source, we don't synth info ourselves, but relay research of others. The consideration section should represent that, and should list considerations that a variety of organisations and experts consider inherent to metros. Similarly, the list should be (and is) broader that what one organisation lists, but still needs to be based on reliable sources. Pretty much every inclusion is considered a metro by a reliable publication, and the considerations section should represent the views of those publications. If you can find a reliable source that states tight station spacing to be a feature of metros, add it. ColonialGrid (talk) 13:31, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
  • Station spacing is definitely one criteria that I've seen mentioned (don't really remember where...) – it's the criteria that's most supposed to show the differential in terms of metro/light rail vs. commuter/suburban rail. It's just not an "exclusively defining" criteria in its own right... Anyway, I am still planning to go through the 'Considerations' section on my end, and try to improve it (so any sourcing that Jswd finds can be added) – it's just that that is not going to happen until one of my two summer jobs ends, so we're talking a couple of weeks from now, at the earliest... --IJBall (contribstalk) 14:01, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

I've obtained UITP's definition and discussed it with a UITP official. He said "I tend to agree with you that BART is a commuter railway system. You will find attached a detailed note that I prepared some months ago." The note discusses the classification question and sets out guidelines which include distance between stations but not the job that a metro system does in its city. It refers to Vuchic's trilogy. I'll try to get to the library later this month and see what Vuchic says about the job that a metro system does. Jswd (talk) 20:43, 5 July 2015 (UTC)

That's not how "reliable sources" work. Regardless, even if UITP stopped listing BART, APTA will never not list BART as "rapid transit", so this discussion is moot. --IJBall (contribstalk) 21:00, 5 July 2015 (UTC)

How does Staten Island Railway constitute its own metro system?[edit]

It's under the same authority as NYC Subway (Metropolitan Transportation Authority), so shouldn't it be technically considered part of the NYC Subway for purposes of this list? Just wondering. (talk) 16:37, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

Okay, separate operating companies (NYCT vs SIRTOA). Never mind. (talk) 16:40, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
That, and there's absolutely no track link between them at all. oknazevad (talk) 16:43, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

Metro Report International[edit]

In the June 2015 edition of Metro Report International, there is an article "Top of the metro world" that includes a list of the top 25 metros ranked by route-km (page 48). Being a magazine targeted directly to the relevant industry, it is interesting to see that the list in the Metro Report article is similar to this Wikipedia list when it comes to ranking and inclusion of systems (i.e. includes BART but not RER and S-Bahn), and with roughly the same numbers for route kilometers. But there are some differences worth considering (i.e. includes Valencia, but only one system in New York, London and Seoul).

The original numbers for the article is from "Railway Directory 2015". Here is the list (I have added a column for the corresponding length from this WP article as of today 2015-07-26):

Top 25 metros ranked by route-km
Rank City Route-Km WP-Km
1 Shanghai 577 548
2 Beijing 527 527
3 London 402 402 +34
4 New York 370 373 +23+22
5 Seoul 326 332 +125+17
6 Moscow 326 328
7 Tokyo 305 304 (195+109)
8 Madrid 293 294
9 Guangzhou 261 240
10 Mexico City 226 227
11 Paris 212 214
12 Chongqing 207 202
13 Delhi 193 194
14 Hong Kong 182 175
15 Nanjing 179 224
16 Shenzen 178 178
17 San Francisco 167 167
18 Washington 165 188
19 Chicago 164 165
20 Singapore 162 153
 ? Tehran  ? 152
21 Berlin 146 152
22 Valencia 140 -
23 Tianjin 135 137
 ? Taipei  ? 131
24 Busan 131 130
25 Osaka 130 130

Kildor (talk) 11:03, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

Some of the Railway Directory 2015's numbers are "dated" (e.g. they're roughly "2014" numbers), which explains some of the discrepancies – e.g. Seoul had one or two expansions in 2015, which explains their "old" number of 326km (we used to have that number here...) vs. our current 332km figure; ditto New Delhi and Washington DC and Nanjing(?) (and possibly Taipei). I literally cannot explain the NYC Subway difference, as our number is pulled directly from the NYC Subway website! In the case of the Chinese systems, I'd probably defer to the Railway Directory in some of those cases, because I'd bet their numbers are more "current" than ours (the Chinese systems are the one set of systems I have deliberately chosen not to try and reference, relying instead on our Chinese-language editors, as there are too many Chinese metro systems, and I wouldn't even know where to start to go looking for their system lengths most of the time...).
Valenica is the one system that continues to "vex" me... Ras.gif I have come to the conclusion that probably one of its routes (basically the one corresponding to "Line 5") can be considered truly "metro". But the rest of its system is absolutely not, and the details about this are being ignored by nearly everyone, including UITP, LRTA, and now this Railway Directory... No matter how you slice it, though – Valencia does NOT have 140km of "true metro" system! --IJBall (contribstalk) 15:37, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Interesting article. To comment on the NYC numbers alone, I don't know what happened to the three missing kilometers, but it's within a reasonable rounding error (being that the NYC Subway is officially measured in miles). It's also not surprising that the other two NYC figures don't appear. Taking the PATH and SIR as separate systems (as we do here as well), they're off the bottom of this list because they're well below the 130 km of Osaka.
If anything, that they are apparently separate on that list makes me think we've been keeping this list the right way, following the same standards the industry professionals do.same thing with Seoul. We have three separate entries, with the longest one almost the same as theirs (due to the slightly dated figure they're using, as IJ noted), while the second and third Seoul entries are below the 130 km line established by Osaka. So clearly were on the same track (pardon the pun).
On the other hand, why they left out Tehran and Taipei, I have no idea. And I too am vexed by Valencia. By any reasonable cursory glance, there's no way it is a metro. It's subway-surface light rail, with more grade crossings and even street running that could ever be considered metro. The underground portions are definitely well-built, but when it's the exact same vehicles passing through both portions on the same trip, it's not a metro. Makes me think that maybe the Valencia transit authority has some really good marketers (lol). Anyway, not a metro, nope. oknazevad (talk) 17:30, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
I agree with both of you that the Valencia system is not a metro. Still interesting to see it's included, while all other decisions for inclusions/exclusion appears right on target. For Tehran and Taipei, I guess the reason for being left out is simply that the directory's length is slightly less than the number we have here, making it below the top 25. The list also has opening year and ridership values. But I am too lazy qouting those numbers right now (perhaps another time!). Kildor (talk) 18:25, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
@Kildor: In the case of Tehran's metro, I'm nearly sure our current system length total includes Line 5 which is a 42km commuter rail line (I've even left a 'comment code' note about this in the article code!), so it's basically wrong: the correct figure is actually more like 110km for Tehran. On Taipei, I have absolutely no idea what's going on, as our figure is direct from the Taipei Metro website, and I don't think Taipei Metro has any "light rail" lines hiding within its system like Valencia does. --IJBall (contribstalk) 19:03, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

Year of opening of London metro[edit]

London metro was opened in 1868 not 1890 as the list shows. This needs some correction. I think some jealous American has prepared that list. (talk) 03:58, 21 August 2015 (UTC)

Did you read the lede (and the references cited there), or the 'Note' that goes along with the opening date? You might want to do that before assuming bad faith... --IJBall (contribstalk) 04:02, 21 August 2015 (UTC)