Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Hibiya Line, 1.13 Million Passengers a Day

EMU Tokyo Metro 03 series arrives at Kita-Senju Station on the Hibiya Line

I have already introduced most of the subway lines in Tokyo to you; but, there are some routes left to do. One such route is the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line, which I am going to show you today.

The Hibiya Line was opened in 1961 as the third subway route in Tokyo. Connecting Naka-Meguro and Kita-Senju, the total operating length is 20.3km. The trains are directly operated into Tokyu Toyoko and Tobu Isesaki lines.

There are many popular spots on the Hibiya Line, such as Ginza, Roppongi and Ueno. Ginza is widely known as one of Tokyo's high class areas, full of luxurious boutiques and expensive restaurants. Roppongi is very popular as a night spot for foreigners, since there are many embassies in the area. By contrast, Ueno creates a cultural zone. There are many museums, universities of art, parks and a zoo.

In the meantime, the Hibiya Line is the second busiest subway route in Tokyo after the Ginza Line. A total of 1.13 million passengers take this route each day. They had been discouraged by the crowded commuter trains. Specifically, the delay of the trains had been a serious problem due to severe congestion.

To save passenger boarding and alighting time, Tokyo Metro launched special cars in 1990, which have five doors on one side (see the top photo). It is quite effective for punctual train operation; however, the decreased seating capacity has provoked new dissatisfaction for the passengers.

What a dilemma!

Heading to downtown Tokyo, EMU Tokyo Metro 03 series leaves Kita-Senju Station