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Automated metros experience surge in global growth

19 July 2016  •  Author(s): Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, Eurotransport

According to a new report published by the UITP (International Association of Public Transport), automated metros are experiencing exponential growth globally.

Automated metros experience surge in global growth

The UITP report suggests automated metros are enjoying exponential global growth with figures revealing infrastructure length increased by 17 percent since 2014.

Automated metro infrastructure length has increased by 17 percent since 2014

Figures compiled by UITP show that there are now 53 fully automated lines around the world in 36 cities operating a total of 789km. The association believes this is demonstrates that automated metros are a proven solution for cities globally.

Automated metros experience surge in global growth

By 2025 there will be an estimated 2,200km of automated metro infrastructure in operation

Additional findings of the UITP study revealed:

  • Asia is the world’s leading automation region with 42 percent of km of infrastructure, followed by Europe (34 percent) and North America (13 percent), which was one of the pioneering regions in automation. In the last decade, Latin America and the Middle East have developed automated lines with the latter showing strong growth.
  • Half of the world’s fully automated metro infrastructure is to be found in four countries: France, South Korea, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. At the city level, the ranking is led by three non-European cities: Singapore (82km), Dubai (80km) and Vancouver (68km). 
  • In the 40 years since the first automated lines, the growth rate has doubled each decade and is set to quadruple in the coming decade: by 2025, there will be an estimated 2,200km of automated metro infrastructure in operation.
  • In 2025, Asia, Europe and the Middle East will represent 32 percent, 31 percent and 24 percent respectively of total automated infrastructure. China announced the opening of its first fully automated line for the end of 2017 – a significant move that could mean even higher growth if China embraces automation for its many growing systems.

Commenting on the findings, Ramón Malla, Chairman of the UITP Observatory of Automated Metros and Director of Automated Metro at TMB Barcelona said: “Full automation offers a step change opportunity for metro systems and for more sustainable urban mobility. The current exponential growth trend confirms that authorities and operators around the world are increasingly ready to take the leap towards this new reference point in metro service and operations”. 

UITP World Report on Metro Automation can be downloaded here.

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