Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) has joined the Nova group of metros. BMRCL constructs and operates the Namma Metro (which means ‘Our Metro’) which serves Bangalore, the capital of India’s southern Karnataka state and the third most populous city in the country.
The first part of the system opened in 2011, and Phase 1 was completed in 2017. The system now features 42.3km that is 80% elevated and 20% underground on two lines: Purple (east-west) and Green (north-south). There are 40 stations and an estimated approximately 130m annual passenger journeys. Phase 2 is now under construction, with sections expected to open between now and 2023 that extend both existing lines and add three new lines (with an additional 93km).
Tokyo Metro has joined the CoMET group of metros. Their system is the oldest in Asia, dating to 1927 with the opening of the Ginza Line. Privatised in 2004, Tokyo Metro is owned by the national and metropolitan governments. The Tokyo Metro network is 195.1km with 179 stations on 9 lines and is renowned for its punctuality. Annual passenger journeys are estimated at more than 2.2 billion, making Tokyo Metro among the densest metros in the world.
Tokyo Metro’s first two lines, the 1927 Ginza Line and 1954 Marunouchi Line, operate on standard gauge track with third rail power and are independent. The rest of the network operates on narrow gauge (1067mm) like the mainline railway network in Japan, with overhead power and operate through services connecting to various suburban railways. We look forward to working with Tokyo Metro on benchmarking going forward.
Sydney Metro has joined the Nova group of metros. It is a new fully automated (GoA4) metro system being built in Sydney, Australia’s largest city. The first section, known as Sydney Metro Northwest, opened in May 2019 with a 4-minute peak headway. The initial segment features 23km and 8 stations newly built and the existing 13km, 5-station Epping to Chatswood rail link (which opened in 2009 and was operated by Sydney Trains until closing in September 2018 for metro conversion).
Currently passengers interchange onto Sydney Trains services at Epping and Chatswood to continue to central Sydney, but Sydney Metro City & Southwest is currently under construction and will extend the line a total of 31km, including a new tunnel under Sydney Harbour and the Central Business District and the takeover of another existing Sydney Trains line in the southwest area, scheduled for 2024.
OC Transpo in Ottawa, Canada has joined the Nova group of metros as part of the North American Sub-Group. OC Transpo (the Ottawa-Carleton Transportation Commission) is the public transport provider for Ottawa, which is Canada’s capital and 4th largest city. OC Transpo is known for having an extensive busway network constructed and opened in the 1980s and 1990s. This network reached capacity in the early 2000s and is now being partly replaced by a new light metro line. At a city-wide level, public transport carries 22% of all morning peak travel in the city.
O-Train Line 1 (the Confederation Line) has 13 stations along a 12.5-km grade separated corridor that includes 3 underground stations in a 2.5-km tunnel through the city centre. The line will operate 100m-long trains at 3-min peak headways using ATO. Construction is beginning on extensions at both ends of the line that will add 27.5km and 16 stations by 2025.
Seoul Metro has joined the Community of Metros as its newest member. With the exciting joining of Seoul Metro, the community now comprises 35 of the world’s metros. Seoul Metro is one of the oldest metros in Asia, having opened in 1974, and is now one of the largest systems in the Community of Metros, with similar demand to Shanghai and Moscow. Seoul Metro is one of the two major operators of Seoul’s metro system, which is jointly operated with Korail and Seoul Metro Line 9 Corporation. Lines 2, 5, 6, 7 and 8, as well as the Seoul Metro-operated portions of Lines 1, 3 and 4 will be included in benchmarking analysis. The current organisation was formed after a merger of Korail, Seoul Metro and Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation came into effect in 2017.
Seoul Metro comprises just over 300km across 277 stations, similar in network length to Guangzhou Metro. The system has undergone steady expansion since 1974, with new lines opening in 1984, 1985, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1996 and 2000. It now provides approximately 2.1 billion passenger journeys per year across the Seoul Metropolitan Area, which includes Incheon and Gyeonggi Province. Seoul is the capital of the Republic of Korea and is a major global city with a population of over 25 million.
Seoul Metro is a notably innovative operator, providing internet connectivity in all trains and stations, a state-of-the-art customer facing mobile application covering journey planning, train status, incident reporting, a “favourites” tool and real-time information. Its future plans include the ongoing development and operation of two new lines opening in 2018: the 23.7km Gimpo Line (connecting with Lines 5 and 9) and the 23.3km Sosa-Wonsi Line (connecting with Lines 1 and 4). Seoul Metro will also open three extension projects: the 5.94km Line 9 extension (Phase 3), a 14.7km extension to Line 4 in 2020, and a 12.9km extension to Line 8 opening in 2022.
Nova celebrated its 20th birthday at the Phase 20 Annual Meeting, held in London and hosted by the Railway and Transport Strategy Centre (RTSC) at Imperial College London. 22 members of the Community of Metros (17 Nova members and 5 CoMET members) attended the Annual Meeting and Metro Leader Day, held on 8th – 11th May 2018. Representatives from new members at Bay Area Rapid Transit (San Francisco) and the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai were warmly welcomed for their first meeting.
The meeting focused on Phase 20 benchmarking results, including Key Performance Indicators, case studies on Escalator Management and Security on Metros, as well as wider studies from the Community of Metros on Enhancing Platform Safety Without Platform Doors and Using Data to Improve Maintenance. Members presented an update on their metro’s current activities and plans, giving insight into shared challenges and opportunities. The meeting also included the annual Nova Metro Leader Day, focused on strategic-level discussions on topics of interest, such as managing ageing assets and metro automation. The Group also celebrated Nova’s 20th birthday throughout the week.
As well as meeting activities, members visited London Underground facilities across two technical visits. These visits included a guided tour of Tottenham Court Road station, which has undergone significant works in preparation for the opening of the Elizabeth Line, and as part of an area-wide regeneration plan. Members also rode the new Elizabeth Line rolling stock from Liverpool Street to Stratford, where they heard more detail on the development of the line as it prepares to open. Members also visited Transport for London’s operational control centres where the Underground and surface transport networks are monitored and optimised.
Shenzhen Metro has joined the Community of Metros as part of the Nova consortium. Shenzhen Metro (SZMC) operates Lines 1, 2, 3 and 5 in Shenzhen, which comprises 158km and 107 stations. Line 4 is operated separately by MTR, but is from a customer perspective part of the same metro system. The total system (including Line 4) is already carrying an estimated 600-700m annual passenger journeys.
The system first opened in 2004, and expanded dramatically by over 100km in 2011 (before Shenzhen hosted the 2011 Summer Universiade). The network has been stable since 2011, but there are several new lines under construction, with multiple new lines to open in 2016.
Shenzhen is a city of about 10 million in the south of Guangdong Province, adjacent to Hong Kong and less than 100 miles southeast of Guangzhou. Shenzhen Metro is a key part of what may be the most metro-connected megalopolis in the world – it directly links in two places to Hong Kong’s East Rail Line (the first time two Community of Metros members in different cities interchange!), and there are plans in the not-so-distant future to also connect Shenzhen Metro to the Dongguan Metro, which itself will connect to the Guangzhou Metro at its other end.
Shenzhen Metro is already working on plans to attend the next Nova meeting, which will be hosted by the Docklands Light Railway in London in September 2015.
In September 2014, members of the Nova metro benchmarking group met in Delhi for their yearly management meeting, hosted by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. This was the first meeting for new members Oslo Sporveien, who presented an extended introduction to their metro. Excitingly, the meeting was also attended by the metros of Bangalore and Chennai, who were invited to attend as observers with a view to joining a new benchmarking group for new and rapidly-growing metros.
Meeting attendees agreed the work programme for the next year, as well as hearing reports on the previous year’s research including key performance indicator benchmarking, and the international metro customer satisfaction survey. In addition, attendees visited the metro and its operational centres to learn more about Delhi Metro’s operations in detail. The visit to the training school and simulator building was a particular highlight – here Delhi Metro is training staff not only for their own rapid expansion, but also for other new metros throughout India.
As a result of its rapid growth, Delhi Metro will be moving in 2015 to the CoMET benchmarking group for the world’s largest metros. This was therefore a valuable opportunity for Nova members to see Delhi’s metro in action. RTSC and the members of Nova thank Delhi DMRC for their efforts in organising an interesting and productive meeting.
The Nova group of metros is pleased to welcome Sporveien as its newest member. A company 100% owned by the city of Oslo, Sporveien operates the metro (T-Banen) as well as trams and buses in the city.
With 115 three-car rolling stock units operated singly or in pairs across its 86km of track and 97 stations, Oslo Metro transported 85million passengers in 2013. 410 maintenance employees keep the metro and the tram in good condition, resulting in 99.8% regularity, and customer satisfaction of 96.0%.
With a vision to “make public transportation a natural first choice,” Sporveien will benefit from the collective expertise of the Community of Metros, and the Nova group in particular, to research ideas and good practices to realise this vision. In particular, Sporveien’s strategic aim to “at all times deliver the correct degree of quality to our products and services” will benefit from insight via the Key Performance Indicator system to identify appropriate levels of performance to achieve this goal.
With collaboration named as a key value in Sporveien’s roadmap towards future success, it is certain that both Sporveien and the Community of Metros will benefit from this new partnership.
With the Nova group expanding to 17 members in 2013, the group is pleased to welcome Docklands Light Railway in London. It operates a 35-km network with 45 stations. After initially being designed as a light rail system to enable regeneration of East London, it has been repeatedly expanded to create a much higher capacity system, serving key East London destinations including the financial district and the Olympic park. Their network map may be seen below.