Honolulu Rapid Transit has joined COMET as its newest member. It is the first member to join that is currently under construction, and is both the first driverless metro system in the United States and the first system to be equipped with Platform Screen Doors. The project’s first phase is due to open towards the end of 2022. When complete, the system will comprise 32km of mainly elevated metro, with 21 stations. The system will be integrated with the city’s bus network and customers will be able to use a single smartcard to travel on both rail and bus.
The Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) system has joined COMET in April 2022 as the group’s newest member. PATH consists of 22.2km of network length in north-east New Jersey and New York City in the United States. It is operated and owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
PATH joins among the oldest metro systems in the world in COMET having opened in 1908. It is the only other COMET metro (alongside the New York City Subway operated by New York City Transit) to operate 24/7 service. It operates four services with a daily ridership of around 300,000. The organisation has been implementing its PATH Improvement Plan since 2019, adding more trains, reducing delays and improving customer experience for passengers.
MRT Jakarta joined COMET in September 2021 as the group’s newest member. Jakarta is the capital city of Indonesia, the largest city in south-east Asia and among the most populated cities in the world. The organisation currently operates one line, the North South Line, comprising 15.7km and 13 stations.
The North South Line is part of the MRT’s first phase of development. All stations have Platform Screen Doors (PSDs): half-height doors at elevated stations and full-height doors at underground stations. The next stages of the metro’s development will be two extensions to the North South Line (adding 11km and 10 stations), as well as a second East West Line.
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.