Urban Journalism Institute

Metro, Underground, Subway, or Tube – Use it!

Several cities are starting 2023 with new transport infrastructure, and others will follow during the year

Marienplatz underground station in Munich, Germany
© diyanadimitrova

In May 2022, the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) published data on 193 cities with metro systems. Nearly a quarter of them are located in China. Another 30 per cent of the total number of metro systems is concentrated in Brazil, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United States.

In 2023, the first-ever metro systems will be inaugurated in Lagos (Nigeria) and Quito (Ecuador).

The Quito Metro (MDQ, Metro de Quito in Spanish) started its construction in January 2016, the same year the city hosted Habitat III, one of the largest United Nations conferences ever. If the event were organized today, the city would welcome the visitors with 15 metro stations, one of them in the heart of the historic city centre, the Plaza San Francisco. The Quito Metro’s official inauguration was held a few days before the end of 2022 and after a first testing phase, it is expected to be in full and daily operation from 5.30 am to 11 pm starting from March 2023. 

The Quito Metro project was financed by a consortium of four multilateral banks: the Development Bank of Latin America, the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank and the European Investment Bank. Until 2028, it will be operated by a consortium made up of Metro de Medellin (Colombia) and Transdev, a France-based public transport operator.

The same week as the official Inauguration of the Quito Metro, the Blue Line of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit was celebrating its completion in the African city. The Blue Line aims to convey 200,000 passengers daily. The test run is also taking place in the first weeks of 2023. In the case of Lagos, the light rail project was built by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC). 

Among other cities ready to open the subway in 2023 are Thessaloniki (Greece), Konya (Turkey) and Honolulu (United States).