Clean Transport

Published on April 10th, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan


Interesting Opinions Of 10 Of The World’s Largest Subway Systems?

April 10th, 2014 by  

Mashable blogger Max Knoblauch recently decided to have a bit of fun scrolling through reviews of 10 of the world’s largest subway systems. I’m not sure how many reviews he looked at for each of them, but he shared one pro review and one con review for subway systems in: Madrid, London, Paris, Moscow, Stockholm, New York, Tokyo, Seoul, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.

He also shared some basic cost information for each, but the review quotes were the fun part. Here are just a few of the review quotes (and just a tad bit of commentary from me):

london tube map

London Tube

Pro: “The map and signage are so clear that despite the many lines, it is impossible to get lost.”

Impossible? Really? Have you ever traveled with someone who can’t read maps? 😀

Con: “Cramped hot and full of arrogant people who seem to think they own the damn thing.”

Well, that last bit is really about people and the degree to which they despise, do not tolerate, and are not friendly to strangers, isn’t it? (The commenter surely cannot relate.) Why can’t we all just get along… (and also learn how to use commas)?

Paris Metro

Pro: “Gets you everywhere. Makes you feel like a Parisian.”

Agreed. I absolutely love the Paris Metro.

Con: “There are a lot of stairs. Sometimes I felt like I had to go down stairs to go upstairs.”

My first thought after reading that was a sarcastic, “Oh no, exercise!” However, I’ll admit that too much exercise when sightseeing can really limit how much you are able to see without collapsing and turning into a zombie. Furthermore, a lot of stairs are a real problem for people with small kids, old people, people with joint problems in the lower half of their body, and lazy people. Paris could perhaps work on that a bit.

Moscow Metro

Pro: “The stations are all beautiful works of art.”

That’s pretty cool.

Con: “Smelly, gloomy and no English what-so-ever.”

No English?! In Russia?! You’ve got to be kidding me!

Stockholm Tunnelbana

(First off: awesome name!)

Pro: “On some days, the operating company also offers guided tours, these are free, one only needs to have a ticket.”

That’s pretty awesome.

Regarding cons, Max found none for this system. Say what?!?!

New York City Subway

Pro: “I found it incredibly safe, easy to manage and super cheap! Compared to certain Muni lines it’s like riding in a limo.”

A San Francisco limo or a New York limo?

Con: “If you’ve taken a train from Roma Termini (the stench of piss and vomit) in Italy, that’s nothing compared to NY stations. I’ve seen rats running around.”

Holy *&*^!

I have to say that I didn’t run into any such problems with the NYC subway system, but I have probably spent fewer than two weeks riding the subway there (in my entire life). So, don’t expect to find rats, piss, and vomit the moment you get to a NYC subway station. If those were so prevalent, it certainly wouldn’t be one of the busiest subway systems in the world.

San Francisco BART

Pro: “A nice smooth comfortable ride and ideal climate control.”

(Again, people, commas.)

Indeed, the climate control is quite good. 😀 And the overall quality is pretty sweet. But wait…

Con: “Literally I think [it] may have permanent crap stains.”

Washington, DC Metrorail

Pro: “People who work at the many stops are so helpful, especially with all of the tourists and their questions.”

I have been a tourist in DC many times and I can attest to that. Nice people. I met every single one of them, btw.

Con: “Seating arrangement encourages ‘hogging’ of two seats, compelling many to stand, mostly crowding around the doors as the aisles are too narrow for the oversized passengers.”

Hmm, “oversized,” is that the new term?

Image: London Tube map via Claudio Divizia /

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

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  • Bob_Wallace

    Delhi subway.

    Friggin’ fantastic. As someone who had sat for hours in Delhi traffic in order to move a few miles there’s something unreal about jumping on the subway and popping up on the other side of the city. A little strange to get a full body pat-down before boarding….

    Bangkok subway.

    Great, but not nearly as nice as riding the SkyTrain where the windows look out on something other than tunnel. Nice and cool.

    London Underground. A step back in time.

    Bart. The sucker finally runs all the way to the airport. ‘Bout time. Good system. As I recall Hong Kong has/had the identical cars.

    Paris Metro. Paris. Need one say more?

    Subways in general. How about letting the street artists mural the tunnels? (Not practical, I know, but would be entertaining.

    • Ronald Brakels

      Use strobe lights and a series of murals each slightly different from the next to create an animation effect. It would totally be worth the seizure lawsuits.

  • Ronald Brakels

    No one wants to discuss subways? I thought there would be heaps of Americans wanting to comment on them. I assumed people in the US are obsessed with subways since in Australia we have an American sandwich shop chain that is named after them.

  • Ronald Brakels

    Tokyo Subway/light rail: Very clean but if you travel at rush hour men wearing white gloves will shove you into the carriage. Perverts are a problem, but if you look foreign you are probably safer than the average Japanese person. Incredibly cheap and convenient compared to using taxis or cars to get around, but may seem expensive in relation to other countries. However, Japanese rail generally pays its own way without govenment subsidies and the horrific cost of parking in Japan is a major reason why this is possible.
    (,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, – Extra commas to make up for any I may have missed.)

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