How London's Tube Compares to the World's Busiest Urban Transport Systems

By Gary Cutlack on at

London's transport bosses are pretty happy that they set a new personal best for shuffling people between the shit places they live and the slightly nicer places they work in October, but in global terms our capital's still got it easy.

TfL's record day of moving 4.753 million passengers on October 9 would've left Tokyo's subway staff wondering what national disaster killed all the people on the surface, seeing as the average daily load there is just over 9 million -- thanks to Japan's sardine tin trains managing an annual passenger trip total of 3.3 billion in 2013.

That's why they need to pay a man to shove/fold the smaller women into all available gaps.

The Beijing Subway isn't far behind Tokyo either, managing around 3.2 billion trips in 2013. London's official figures show that our capital city managed 1.305 billion trips in the most recent year accounted for, well less than half the number of bums ferried around on the seat of China's busiest city network.

Even South Korea has a busier time of it than London, with Seoul's city tube managing to record 2.619 billion individual trips per year in 2013. And that's only been running since 1974. London has bit of chewing gum on seats older than that.

And London isn't even home to the most heavily trafficked tube network in Europe (perhaps because walking is often so much easier), with the Paris Metro recording an annual individual passenger trip total of 1.541 billion in 2013.

Image credit: Tokyo Subway, Paris Metro, Beijing Subway via Shutterstock