A metro station or subway station is a railway station for a rapid transit system, which as a whole is usually called a "metro" or "subway". A station provides a means for passengers to purchase tickets, board trains, and evacuate the system in the case of an emergency. In the United Kingdom, they are known as underground stations, most commonly used in reference to the London Underground.
The location of a metro station is carefully planned to provide easy access to important urban facilities such as roads, commercial centres, major buildings and other transport nodes.
Most stations are located underground, with entrances/exits leading up to ground or street level. The bulk of the station is typically positioned under land reserved for public thoroughfares or parks. Placing the station underground reduces the outside area occupied by the station, allowing vehicles and pedestrians to continue using the ground-level area in a similar way as before the station's construction. This is especially important where the station is serving high-density urban precincts, where ground-level spaces are already heavily utilised.
In other cases, a station may be elevated above a road, or at ground level depending on the level of the train tracks. The physical, visual and economic impact of the station and its operations will be greater. Planners will often take metro lines or parts of lines at or above ground where urban density decreases, extending the system further for less cost. Metros are most commonly used in urban cities, with great populations.Alternatively, a preexisting railway land corridor is re-purposed for rapid transit.
At street level the logo of the metro company marks the entrances/exits of the station. Usually, signage shows the name of the station and describes the facilities of the station and the system it serves. Often there are several entrances for one station, saving pedestrians from needing to cross a street and reducing crowding.
A metro station typically provides ticket vending and ticket validating systems. The station is divided into an unpaid zone connected to the street, and a paid zone connected to the train platforms. The ticket barrier allows passengers with valid tickets to pass between these zones. The barrier may operated by staff or more typically with automated turnstiles or gates that open when a transit pass is scanned or detected.Some small metro systems dispense with paid zones and validate tickets with staff in the train carriages.
Access from the street to ticketing and the train platform is provided by stairs, concourses, escalators, elevators and tunnels. The station will be designed to minimise overcrowding and improve flow, sometimes by designating tunnels as one way.Permanent or temporary barriers may be used to manage crowds. Some metro stations have direct connections to important nearby buildings (see underground city).
Most jurisdictions mandate that people with disabilities must have unassisted use of the station. This is resolved with elevators, taking a number of people from street level to the unpaid ticketing area, and then from the paid area to the platform. In addition, there will be stringent requirements for emergencies, with backup lighting, emergency exits and alarm systems installed and maintained. Stations are a critical part of the evacuation route for passengers escaping from a disabled or troubled train.
A subway station may provide additional facilities, such as toilets, kiosks and amenities for staff and security services, such as Transit police.
Some metro stations are interchanges, serving to transfer passengers between lines or transport systems. The platforms may be multi-level. Transfer stations handle more passengers than regular stations, with additional connecting tunnels and larger concourses to reduce walking times and manage crowd flows.
In some stations, especially where trains are fully automated, the entire platform is screened from the track by a wall, typically of glass, with automatic platform-edge doors (PEDs). These open, like elevator doors, only when a train is stopped, and thus eliminate the hazard that a passenger will accidentally fall (or deliberately jump) onto the tracks and be run over or electrocuted.
Control over ventilation of the platform is also improved, allowing it to be heated or cooled without having to do the same for the tunnels. The doors add cost and complexity to the system, and trains may have to approach the station more slowly so they can stop in accurate alignment with them.
Metro stations, more so than railway and bus stations, often have a characteristic artistic design that can identify each stop. Some have sculptures or frescoes. For example, London's Baker Street station is adorned with tiles depicting Sherlock Holmes. The tunnel for Paris' Concorde station is decorated with tiles spelling the Déclaration des Droits de l'Homme et du Citoyen. Every metro station in Valencia, Spain has a different sculpture on the ticket-hall level. Alameda station is decorated with fragments of white tile, like the dominant style of the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències . Each of the original four stations on Line 8 of the Beijing Subway is decorated traditionally with elements of Chinese culture. On the Tyne and Wear Metro, the station at Newcastle United's home ground St James' Park is decorated in the clubs famous black and white stripes. Each station of the Red Line and Purple Line subway in Los Angeles was built with different artwork and decorating schemes, such as murals, tile artwork and sculptural benches. Every station of the Mexico City Metro is prominently identified by a unique icon in addition to its name, because the city had high illiteracy rates at the time the system was designed.
Some metro systems, such as those of Naples, Stockholm, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tashkent, Kyiv,Montreal, Lisbon, Kaohsiung and Prague are famous for their beautiful architecture and public art. The Paris Métro is famous for its art nouveau station entrances; while the Athens Metro is known for its display of archeological relics found during construction.
However, it is not always the case that metro designers strive to make all stations artistically unique. Sir Norman Foster's new system in Bilbao, Spain uses the same modern architecture at every station to make navigation easier for the passenger, though some may argue that this is at the expense of character.
Metro stations usually feature prominent poster and video advertising, especially at locations where people are waiting, producing an alternative revenue stream for the operator.
The largest and most complex metro station in the world is the Paris Métro-RER station Châtelet-Les Halles in France.
The metro station with the highest elevation above ground in the world is New York City's Smith–Ninth Streets station of the New York City Subway in the United States.
The deepest metro station in the world is the Arsenalna station located in Kyiv, located at 105.5 m below the ground.
The northernmost metro station in the world is Mellunmäki metro station of the Helsinki metro in Finland.
The westernmost metro station in the world is YVR-Airport station of Vancouver's SkyTrain system.
The southernmost metro station in the world is the Plaza de los Virreyes - Eva Perón metro station of the Buenos Aires Underground in Argentina.
The easternmost metro station in the world is Chatswood station of Sydney's Metro North West Line.
The Paris Métro is a rapid transit system in the Paris metropolitan area, France. A symbol of the city, it is known for its density within the city limits, uniform architecture and unique entrances influenced by Art Nouveau. It is mostly underground and 214 kilometres (133 mi) long. It has 302 stations, of which 62 have transfers between lines. There are 16 lines, numbered 1 to 14 with two lines, 3bis and 7bis, which are named because they started out as branches of Line 3 and Line 7; later they officially became separate lines. Lines are identified on maps by number and colour, with the direction of travel indicated by the terminus.
The Glasgow Subway is an underground medium-capacity rail system line in Glasgow, Scotland. Opened on 14 December 1896, it is the third-oldest underground metro system in the world after the London Underground and the Budapest Metro. It is also one of the very few railways in the world with a track running gauge of 4 ft. Originally a cable railway, the subway was later electrified, but the double-track circular line was never expanded. The line was originally known as the Glasgow District Subway, but was later renamed Glasgow Subway Railway. It was so called when taken over by the Glasgow Corporation who renamed it the Glasgow Underground in 1936. Despite this rebranding, many Glaswegians continued to refer to the network as "the Subway". In 2003 the name "Subway" was officially readopted by its operator, the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT). A £40,000 study examining the feasibility of an expansion into the city's south side was conducted in 2005 while a further commitment from Labour in 2007 to extend to the East End was also to no avail.
Wall Street is a station on the IRT Lexington Avenue Line of the New York City Subway, located at the intersection of Broadway and Wall Street. It is served by the 4 train at all times and the 5 train at all times except late nights.
The New York City Subway is a rapid transit system that serves four of the five boroughs of New York City, New York: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens. Its operator is the New York City Transit Authority, which is itself controlled by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York. In 2015, an average of 5.65 million passengers used the system daily, making it the busiest rapid transit system in the United States and the seventh busiest in the world.
St. Clair West is a subway station on Line 1 Yonge–University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It spans the block north of St. Clair Avenue West to Heath Street, between Bathurst Street and Tweedsmuir Avenue. The station serves the local communities of Forest Hill South, Humewood, Bracondale Hill and Casa Loma.
Queen's Park is a subway station on Line 1 Yonge–University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The station, which opened in 1963, is located under University Avenue at College Street.
Union is a subway station on Line 1 Yonge–University of the Toronto subway in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It opened in 1954 as one of twelve original stations on the first phase of the Yonge line, the first rapid transit line in Canada. It was the southern terminus of the line until the opening of the University line in 1963, and is today the inflection point of the U-shaped line. Along with Spadina station, it is one of two stations open overnight.
Dundas is a subway station on Line 1 Yonge–University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is located at the intersection of Yonge Street and Dundas Street. Wi-Fi service is available at this station.
Eglinton is a subway station on Line 1 Yonge–University of the Toronto subway. It is central to the Yonge–Eglinton neighbourhood in Midtown Toronto. Eglinton station is the seventh busiest station of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC).
Sheppard–Yonge is an interchange station on Line 1 Yonge–University and Line 4 Sheppard of the Toronto subway. The station is located at the southern end of North York City Centre. It is the fourth-busiest station in the system, after Bloor–Yonge, St. George and Union, serving a combined total of approximately 125,470 people per day in 2018.
An island platform is a station layout arrangement where a single platform is positioned between two tracks within a railway station, tram stop or transitway interchange. Island platforms are popular on twin-track routes due to pragmatic and cost-effective reasons. They are also useful within larger stations where local and express services for the same direction of travel can be provided from opposite sides of the same platform thereby simplifying transfers between the two tracks. An alternative arrangement is to position side platforms on either side of the tracks.
34th Street–Herald Square is an underground station complex on the BMT Broadway Line and the IND Sixth Avenue Line of the New York City Subway, and is the third-busiest station in the system with 39,672,507 passengers entering the station in 2017. It is located at Herald Square in Midtown Manhattan where 34th Street, Broadway and Sixth Avenue intersect, and is served by the:
The Karen Demirchyan Yerevan Subway, colloquially known as the Yerevan Metro, is a rapid transit system that serves the capital of Armenia, Yerevan. Owned by the government, it is operated by the Karen Demirchyan Yerevan Subway CJSC of the Ministry of Transport and Communication of Armenia.
Broadway station is a subway station in Boston, Massachusetts. It serves the MBTA's Red Line. It is located at the intersection of Dorchester Avenue and Broadway in South Boston. It was opened on December 15, 1917 as part of the Dorchester Extension from Downtown Crossing to Andrew. The station has a single island platform to serve the two tracks.
Lexington Avenue–63rd Street is a New York City Subway station in Lenox Hill, Manhattan, shared by the IND and BMT 63rd Street Lines. Located at the intersection of Lexington Avenue and 63rd Street, it is served by the:
Canal Street is a New York City Subway station complex. It is located in the Manhattan neighborhoods of Chinatown and SoHo, and is shared by the BMT Broadway Line, the IRT Lexington Avenue Line, and the BMT Nassau Street Line. It is served by the:
The Montreal Metro is a rubber-tired underground rapid transit system serving Greater Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Fulton Street is a New York City Subway station complex in Lower Manhattan. It consists of four linked stations on the IND Eighth Avenue Line, the IRT Lexington Avenue Line, the BMT Nassau Street Line and the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line. The last three cross Fulton Street at Broadway, Nassau Street, and William Street respectively; the Eighth Avenue Line station is underneath Fulton Street, between Broadway and Nassau Streets. The station is the seventh busiest in the system, as of 2017, with 26,838,473 passengers.
Rapid transit or mass rapid transit (MRT), also known as heavy rail, metro, subway, tube, U-Bahn, metropolitana or underground, is a type of high-capacity public transport generally found in urban areas. Unlike buses or trams, rapid transit systems are electric railways that operate on an exclusive right-of-way, which cannot be accessed by pedestrians or other vehicles of any sort, and which is often grade-separated in tunnels or on elevated railways.
Jay Street–MetroTech is a New York City Subway station complex on the IND Fulton Street, IND Culver, and BMT Fourth Avenue lines. The complex is located in the vicinity of MetroTech Center in Downtown Brooklyn. It is served by the: