China's Breakneck Metro System Growth, in One Amazing GIF

By Bridget O'Donnell, May 23, 2017

3 0

China's growth in the transportation sector is impressive. Look no further than its metro systems, which have gone from covering just three cities in 1990 to over 40 by 2020.

An incredible graphic making the rounds online recently shows just how fast the country's subway systems have grown. Watch the staggering pace of 30 years of development in just seconds with this GIF:

Image via Transit Oriented

Explaining the graphics, illustrator Peter Dovak writes:

"Metro lines in China (along with Taiwan and Hong Kong) are being built at an incredible rate. Before 1990, they could be found in just three cities—Beijing, first opening in 1969; Hong Kong in 1979, and Tianjin in 1984.  Growth was modest for many years, but has become exponentially more rapid over time and now dwarfs the rest of the world's progress.  In just the thirty years from 1990 to 2020, the number of cities with a metro system will grow from those original three to over forty—with more to come soon after.

"In this time, Beijing and Shanghai in particular have ballooned from nearly nothing into the world's two largest, in both length and annual ridership. The timeline of their expansion alone is mesmerizing."

READ MORE: Shanghai's 20 Years of Insane Subway Expansion

To show just how quickly Beijing and Shanghai's metro systems have grown, Dovak has also created this mesmerizing GIF comparing the speeds of the two:

Beijing and Shanghai Metro growth
Image via Transit Oriented

READ MORE: Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen and Guangzhou, This is What Your Subway Networks Will Look Like in 2020

[Cover image via Pexels]

more news

Random ID Checks at Shanghai Metro Stations Ahead of Import Expo

Increased passport checks around Shanghai ahead of next month's import expo.

New Metro Line Will Link Suzhou and Shanghai

​It will soon be easier (and faster) than ever to get between Shanghai and Suzhou.

WATCH: Passengers Caught Dodging Fares on Shanghai Metro

In the video, several people can be seen ducking underneath the turnstiles to avoid subway fares.

Shanghai Metro Line 5 South Extension to Start Test Runs

The first Metro line to run through Fengxian.

Shanghai Metro App Now Accepts WeChat Payment

At long last, Shanghai commuters can now pay for the metro using WeChat payment.

Technical Difficulties Lead to Massive Delays on Shanghai Metro Line 2

As these photos show, rush hour was much worse than usual this morning.

Shanghai Metro Pujiang Line Begins Testing Driverless Trains

The city's first driverless metro line, the Pujiang Line, commenced public trial runs on March 31.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at Thats_Shanghai for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in Shanghai With

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday


Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Shanghai!

Visit the archives

Get the App. Your essential China city companion.