The Top 9 Public Transportation Systems Around the World

The Top 9 Public Transportation Systems Around the World _ MediaOne Singapore

Hey there, fellow adventurers! Today, we’re going on a delightful trip around the globe to explore some of the most incredible public transportation systems that have been revolutionizing the way people move from place to place.

From bustling metropolises to serene cities, these transport networks not only ensure smooth and efficient travel but also add a touch of charm to your journey.

So, fasten your seatbelts, and let’s hop on board the top 9 public transportation systems around the world!

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1. London, United Kingdom – The Iconic London Tube

All aboard the iconic London Tube! If you’ve ever been to the United Kingdom’s capital, you know that this underground network is nothing short of impressive. The London Tube, with its fascinating history dating back to 1863, is a masterpiece of engineering that connects every nook and cranny of the city.

It’s a happy dance for commuters as they tap their Oyster cards and zip through the bustling city, hopping from the Piccadilly Line to the Jubilee Line and beyond. With the chirpy “Mind the Gap” announcements and the delightful sight of red double-decker buses zipping alongside, London’s public transportation is an experience in itself!

2. Tokyo, Japan – The Efficient and Punctual Tokyo Metro

Next stop, Tokyo! Hold on tight as we zoom into Japan’s ultra-efficient and punctual Tokyo Metro. This metropolis is renowned for its technological prowess, and the Tokyo Metro is a shining example of that.

With trains arriving on time to the second, spotless interiors, and an uncanny silence even during peak hours, it’s no wonder the Tokyo Metro has a reputation for being the world’s most reliable public transportation system. Plus, the sheer politeness of fellow commuters adds an extra dose of happiness to your daily commute. Arigato, Tokyo!

3. New York City, USA – The City that Never Sleeps and Never Stops Moving

Welcome to the Big Apple, folks! New York City’s sprawling subway system is not only a lifeline for locals but also an attraction for tourists. Imagine a city that never sleeps and a transportation system that never stops moving!

Whether it’s the bright lights of Times Square or the tranquillity of Central Park, the NYC subway has got you covered. Grab a bagel, swipe your MetroCard, and join the vibrant energy of the city as you traverse through its dynamic neighborhoods. Public transportation in NYC is the heartbeat of the city, bringing joy to millions of New Yorkers every day.

4. Seoul, South Korea – The Technologically Advanced Seoul Metro

Here we are in Seoul, where tradition and modernity blend seamlessly. The Seoul Metro is a marvel of technology, connecting historical landmarks with contemporary attractions.

With ultra-fast Wi-Fi, touchscreen route planners, and spotless stations adorned with colorful art, every commute becomes a delightful experience. Plus, the convenience of T-money cards makes hopping between the Seoul Metro and buses a breeze. Get ready to embrace the perfect harmony of tradition, technology, and happiness in Seoul!

5. Berlin, Germany – The Green and Sustainable BVG

Guten Tag! Berlin’s public transportation system, known as the BVG (Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe), is not just about moving people from A to B; it’s about doing so sustainably and responsibly.

With an extensive network of trams, buses, and trains, BVG encourages eco-friendly commuting, reducing the city’s carbon footprint one ride at a time. The lush green surroundings, especially in the summer, make the journey even more delightful. So, immerse yourself in Berlin’s rich history and vibrant culture while being kind to Mother Earth!

6. Singapore – The Seamless and Pristine MRT System

Next, we head to the Lion City, where we find Singapore’s MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) system. Known for its seamless connectivity and pristine cleanliness, the Singaporean MRT sets the bar high for public transportation worldwide.

The air-conditioned trains provide a respite from the tropical heat, and the intuitive color-coded lines make navigating through the city-state a joyful breeze. Plus, with the bustling hawker centers and futuristic architecture just a stone’s throw away from many stations, you’ll never run out of exciting places to explore.

7. Moscow, Russia – The Majestic Moscow Metro

All aboard the majestic Moscow Metro! Get ready to be awed by the grandeur and opulence of one of the world’s most beautiful underground transportation systems.

Moscow’s metro stations are like art galleries, showcasing stunning mosaics, elaborate chandeliers, and intricate sculptures. Each station is a masterpiece in itself, reflecting the rich history and cultural heritage of Russia. Commuting in Moscow feels like taking a journey through time and art, making it a truly happy and enriching experience.

8. Hong Kong – The Efficient Octopus Card System

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Now, let’s head to the bustling metropolis of Hong Kong, where the Octopus Card rules the realm of public transportation. This multi-purpose smart card is a true travel companion, allowing seamless access to the MTR (Mass Transit Railway), buses, trams, ferries, and even some retail stores.

Just like its namesake, the Octopus Card is versatile and adaptable, making commuting in Hong Kong a breeze. The efficiency and convenience of this system ensure that you spend less time worrying about transportation and more time exploring the vibrant streets and delicious culinary delights of the city.

9. Paris, France – The Romantic Parisian Metro

Last but certainly not least, we arrive in the City of Love – Paris! The Parisian Metro not only efficiently whisks you around the city but also adds a touch of romance to your journey.

With its charming Art Nouveau entrances, vintage-style trains, and that unmistakable Parisian flair, the metro in the French capital is a feast for the senses. It’s like stepping into a classic French movie as you glide from Montmartre to the Eiffel Tower or explore the winding streets of Le Marais. The Parisian Metro is a delight for all travelers, from history enthusiasts to hopeless romantics.

Honorable Mention 1: Zurich, Switzerland – The Punctual and Scenic Swiss Transport

Welcome to Switzerland’s largest city, Zurich, where efficiency meets breathtaking scenery. The Swiss are known for their punctuality, and the Zurich public transportation system is no exception. Trains, trams, and buses run like clockwork, ensuring you reach your destination on time, every time.

But what sets Zurich’s public transport apart is the scenic beauty that surrounds it. Whether you’re gazing at the crystal-clear waters of Lake Zurich or admiring the majestic Alps in the distance, every journey becomes a delightful visual treat.

Honorable Mention 2: Melbourne, Australia – The Artsy and Vibrant Tram Network

G’day, mates! Welcome to Melbourne, where a unique tram network adds charm and character to the city’s vibrant streets. The Melbourne Tram is not just a mode of transportation; it’s an integral part of the city’s identity.

With creatively painted trams and an extensive route covering many major attractions, hopping on a tram in Melbourne is like embarking on a mobile art tour. So, keep an eye out for the historic trams, the City Circle Tram, and don’t forget to “mind the step” as you explore the artsy side of Down Under.

Honorable Mention 3: Vancouver, Canada – The Green and Sustainable SkyTrain

Eh, welcome to Vancouver, a city nestled between the mountains and the ocean. The SkyTrain, Vancouver’s automated rapid transit system, not only provides swift and efficient travel but also upholds the city’s commitment to sustainability.

Powered by electricity and serving as a key component of the region’s eco-friendly initiatives, the SkyTrain allows you to explore the natural beauty of Vancouver without leaving a significant carbon footprint. Whether you’re heading to Stanley Park or Granville Island, the SkyTrain ensures a happy and green commute.

Honorable Mention 4: Dubai, UAE – The Luxurious and Futuristic Dubai Metro

Now, let’s head to the glitzy city of Dubai, where everything is grand and luxurious, including the Dubai Metro. This ultramodern public transportation system is a marvel of architecture and technology.

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1. Barcelona, Spain – The Artistic and Colourful Metro

¡Bienvenidos a Barcelona! This vibrant city in Spain is renowned for its artistic heritage, and the Barcelona Metro is no exception. As you hop on the metro, you’ll be greeted by eye-catching mosaics, sculptures, and murals that turn your commute into a gallery visit.

The various lines of the metro conveniently connect you to the city’s architectural wonders, like the famous Sagrada Família and Park Güell. Barcelona’s Metro is not just about getting around; it’s an immersive experience into the city’s creative soul.

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2. Toronto, Canada – The Diverse and Multicultural TTC

Welcome to the cosmopolitan city of Toronto, where cultures blend seamlessly and the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) connects everyone like a big, happy family. Toronto’s public transportation system embraces diversity, reflecting the city’s multicultural spirit.

With a mix of subways, streetcars, and buses, the TTC ensures you can explore the vibrant neighborhoods, taste international cuisines, and experience festivals from around the world without any hassle. So, sit back and enjoy the diverse and warm atmosphere of Toronto’s public transit.

3. Buenos Aires, Argentina – The Tango-ing Subte

Hola! Get ready for some tango-infused excitement as we explore the Subte in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Subte is not just a means of transport but a reflection of the city’s passionate and lively character.

As you descend into the underground stations, you’ll be greeted by street musicians playing the bandoneon, the soulful instrument of tango. The train cars themselves are adorned with vibrant graffiti, adding to the city’s bohemian charm. Buenos Aires’ Subte is a unique fusion of art, music, and history, making every ride a fiesta!

4. Stockholm, Sweden – The Scenic and Island-hopping Tunnelbana

Välkommen to Stockholm, the city of islands! Stockholm’s Tunnelbana, or metro, is not just an efficient mode of transportation but also a scenic tour of the city’s archipelago.

As you travel through the tunnels, you’ll notice the stations are like art installations, each with its own theme and design. Some stations feature rock formations, while others resemble cozy living rooms. The Tunnelbana adds a touch of wonder and surprise to your daily commute, making you feel like you’re exploring an underground wonderland.

5. Istanbul, Turkey – The Historic Trams and Ferries

Merhaba! Let’s make our way to the captivating city of Istanbul, where history meets modernity. Istanbul’s public transportation system is a blend of trams, ferries, and buses, all connecting the city’s two continents – Europe and Asia.

The historic trams clatter through the bustling streets, taking you to iconic landmarks like the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. And when it’s time to cross the Bosphorus Strait, the ferries offer a magical journey between continents, allowing you to marvel at the stunning skyline. Istanbul’s public transport takes you on a time-traveling adventure through centuries of culture and civilization.

6. San Francisco, USA – The Iconic Cable Cars

All aboard the iconic cable cars of San Francisco! We’re heading to the hilly streets of the City by the Bay, where the cable cars have become synonymous with its charm and character.

San Francisco’s cable cars are not just a mode of transportation; they are a symbol of the city’s history and innovation. As you ride the historic wooden cars up and down the steep streets, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the city’s famous landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island.

The ringing of the bells and the clang of the cables beneath the street create a nostalgic ambiance that takes you back to a bygone era. The cable cars offer a delightful and unforgettable experience, making you feel like you’re in a classic movie set in the heart of San Francisco.

7. Sydney, Australia – The Spectacular Sydney Ferries

G’day again! We’re now in Sydney, where the spectacular ferries become a gateway to explore the stunning harbor and beyond.

The Sydney Ferries are not just a means of crossing the water; they offer a front-row seat to some of the city’s most iconic views. Whether you’re gliding past the Opera House, cruising under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, or visiting the charming waterfront neighborhoods, the ferry rides are a picturesque treat.

Hop on a ferry, feel the cool sea breeze on your face, and soak in the natural beauty of Sydney’s harbor. It’s a joyful experience that lets you escape the bustle of the city and immerse yourself in the tranquility of the water.

8. Cairo, Egypt – The Historic and Vibrant Microbuses

Marhaba once more! In the bustling city of Cairo, you’ll find a unique and vibrant mode of transportation – the microbuses.

These small, colorful minibusses zip through the city’s chaotic streets, carrying locals and visitors alike to their destinations. Riding in a microbus is like joining a lively party on wheels. The drivers often decorate the interior with religious symbols, stickers, and colorful lights, creating a fun and festive atmosphere.

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Cairo’s microbuses provide an authentic experience of the city’s lively culture and community spirit. So, if you want to embrace the local way of getting around and immerse yourself in the city’s energy, the microbus is the way to go!

9. Prague, Czech Republic – The Charming Trams

Vítejte v Praze! Welcome to Prague, where the charming trams form an integral part of the city’s soul.

The historic trams wind their way through the cobblestone streets, passing by majestic bridges, castles, and cathedrals. Prague’s tram network covers almost every corner of the city, allowing you to explore its rich history and architectural wonders with ease.

As you ride the trams, you’ll feel like you’re in a fairy tale, with the city’s medieval charm surrounding you. The trams add an enchanting touch to your travels, making Prague’s public transportation system a true delight.

10. Amsterdam, Netherlands – The Bike-friendly Trams

Welcome to Amsterdam, the city of bicycles and picturesque canals! While cycling is a favorite mode of transport for locals, the Amsterdam trams also play a vital role in getting around this charming city.

The tram tracks crisscross through the cobbled streets, taking you past beautiful old buildings and scenic waterways. It’s a delightful way to sightsee and experience the laid-back atmosphere of Amsterdam. Plus, the trams are bike-friendly, allowing you to combine both modes of transport for the ultimate Dutch experience.

11. Vienna, Austria – The Elegant U-Bahn and Trams

Grüß Gott! In Vienna, elegance and efficiency come together in the U-Bahn and trams, providing a seamless way to explore this imperial city.

The Vienna U-Bahn takes you underground to connect with major attractions, while the trams gracefully glide above ground, passing by majestic palaces and historic landmarks. Vienna’s public transportation system is a reflection of the city’s rich cultural heritage, making your journeys as delightful as a Viennese waltz.

12. Taipei, Taiwan – The High-Tech and Spotless Metro

Ni hao! Taipei’s modern and high-tech metro system offers a glimpse into the future of public transportation.

The Taipei Metro is famous for its cleanliness and efficiency, and the electronic displays and announcements make navigation a breeze for both locals and visitors. As you travel through this dynamic city, you’ll notice the seamless integration of technology with traditional Taiwanese culture. The metro in Taipei is a shining example of how innovation can bring joy to the daily commute.

13. Munich, Germany – The Gemütlich Trams

Servus! In the heart of Bavaria, Munich’s trams, known as “Trambahn,” offer a gemütlich (cozy and comfortable) way to explore the city.

Munich’s tram network covers a significant part of the city, making it easy to reach popular attractions like Marienplatz and the English Garden. The leisurely pace of the trams allows you to sit back, relax, and take in the charming sights of this Bavarian capital. So, raise your stein and enjoy a delightful tram ride through Munich!

14. Hong Kong – The Iconic Peak Tram

Yes, we’re back in Hong Kong, but this time we’re hopping on the iconic Peak Tram! This funicular railway takes you on a thrilling ascent to Victoria Peak, offering panoramic views of Hong Kong’s stunning skyline and harbor.

The Peak Tram has been in operation for over a century, and it’s not just a mode of transport; it’s an attraction in itself. So, prepare for an unforgettable ride that will take you to new heights (quite literally!) and leave you in awe of this dazzling city.

Embracing Sustainable Travel: Exploring Eco-Friendly Transportation Options

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While public transportation systems we’ve previously explored are efficient and delightful, there are other eco-friendly ways to get around that allow us to preserve the beauty of our environment and contribute to a greener future. So, let’s embark on this exciting quest to find transportation options that not only reduce our carbon footprint but also add joy and adventure to our travels!

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1. Cycling – Embracing the Two-Wheeled Adventure

Pedal power, here we come! Cycling is one of the most eco-friendly and joyful ways to explore a city or its surrounding areas. Not only does it produce zero emissions, but it also allows you to immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and scents of your destination.

Many cities around the world have embraced cycling culture, providing dedicated bike lanes and rental services. So, hop on a bike, feel the wind in your hair, and discover hidden gems and local treasures at your own pace. Whether it’s a leisurely ride along Amsterdam’s canals or cycling through the scenic countryside of Kyoto, embracing the two-wheeled adventure will undoubtedly add a new dimension to your travels.

2. Electric Scooters – Zipping Around Sustainably

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Zip, zip, hooray! Electric scooters have become a popular and eco-friendly transportation option in many cities. With their zero-emission electric motors, they offer a quick and convenient way to get around urban areas without contributing to air pollution.

These trendy scooters are not only efficient but also fun to ride! Just download the app, locate a nearby scooter, and you’re good to go. They’re perfect for short distances, allowing you to effortlessly explore the streets and neighborhoods with a smile on your face. Just remember to follow local regulations and safety guidelines while zipping around sustainably!

3. Carpooling and Ridesharing – Sharing the Joy of Travel

Next up, we have carpooling and ridesharing, where sharing is caring for both the environment and your fellow travelers. By sharing a ride, you can significantly reduce the number of vehicles on the road, leading to less congestion and lower carbon emissions.

Carpooling not only saves money but also creates opportunities for meeting new people and making friends along the way. Plus, with ridesharing apps, arranging shared rides has never been easier. So, whether you’re commuting within a city or embarking on a road trip, consider sharing the joy of travel with others while reducing your environmental impact.

4. Trains – Chugging Along Greener Paths

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All aboard the eco-friendly train! Trains have long been recognized as one of the most sustainable modes of long-distance travel. Compared to airplanes or cars, trains produce significantly fewer greenhouse gas emissions per passenger mile.

Beyond being a green option, train travel offers a unique experience as you journey through diverse landscapes, passing by quaint towns and picturesque vistas. From Europe’s high-speed trains to the scenic routes of Japan and Switzerland, hopping on a train allows you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the ever-changing scenery outside your window.

5. Electric Buses – Cruising Toward a Clean Future

Electric buses are paving the way for a cleaner and greener future of urban transportation. These silent and emission-free vehicles are becoming increasingly prevalent in cities worldwide, contributing to reduced air pollution and noise levels.

In addition to being environmentally friendly, electric buses provide a comfortable and smooth ride for passengers. They are equipped with the latest technology to make your journey enjoyable and efficient. So, the next time you explore a city, look out for electric buses that are silently cruising toward a clean and sustainable future.

6. Walking – Step by Step, Sustainably

One of the simplest and most eco-friendly ways to get around is by using our very own two feet! Walking not only reduces your carbon footprint to zero but also allows you to fully connect with your surroundings.

Strolling through charming alleyways, exploring vibrant markets, and stumbling upon hidden gems are just a few of the joys of walking. Whether it’s wandering through the historic streets of Rome or meandering along the coastal paths of Sydney, walking provides a deeper connection to the places we visit and a chance to savor every moment of our journey.

7. Green Electric Taxis – A Clean Ride Home

Green electric taxis are the future of urban transport. By opting for an electric taxi, you’re choosing a cleaner and more sustainable ride without compromising on comfort and convenience.

More and more cities are introducing electric taxi fleets, providing passengers with a guilt-free way to reach their destinations. So, next time you hail a cab, keep an eye out for those green electric vehicles and enjoy a clean ride home!

8. Electric Ferries – Cruising Across Blue Horizons

As we continue our sustainable travel adventure, let’s set sail on electric ferries that traverse scenic waterways with minimal environmental impact.

Electric ferries are becoming increasingly popular in coastal cities and islands, offering an emission-free mode of transportation across blue horizons. From exploring the fjords of Norway to island-hopping in Greece, sailing on electric ferries allows you to enjoy the serenity of the seas without leaving a trace of pollution behind.

9. Ethical Animal Transportation – Embracing Compassionate Tourism

When exploring wildlife-rich areas or participating in animal-related activities, it’s crucial to choose ethical transportation options that prioritize the welfare of animals.

Instead of opting for traditional animal rides or performances, consider eco-friendly alternatives like walking safaris, kayaking tours, or wildlife viewing on electric or solar-powered vehicles. These sustainable choices ensure that you have a memorable experience without causing harm to the environment or the creatures you encounter.

10. Embrace Slow Travel – A Sustainable Mindset

In our fast-paced world, embracing the philosophy of Slow Travel can be a transformative and sustainable way to explore the world. Slow Travel encourages travelers to take their time, immerse themselves in local cultures, and savor every moment of the journey.

By adopting a slow travel mindset, you naturally gravitate towards eco-friendly transportation options that are not only kinder to the environment but also allow you to experience a deeper connection with the places you visit.

Instead of hopping on a plane and rushing from one popular tourist attraction to another, Slow Travel invites you to:

  • Choose Overland Journeys: Instead of flying between destinations, consider taking overland journeys. Whether it’s a scenic train ride or a road trip, traveling by land allows you to witness the gradual changes in landscapes and cultures, making the journey an integral part of your travel experience.
  • Stay Longer in a Few Places: Rather than trying to see as many cities and sights as possible in a short time, focus on staying longer in a few places. This not only reduces the carbon emissions associated with frequent travel but also allows you to form meaningful connections with locals and gain a deeper understanding of the destination.
  • Explore Off-the-Beaten-Path: Slow Travel encourages exploration beyond the well-trodden tourist routes. Venture into lesser-known regions and communities, supporting local economies and experiencing authentic culture while minimizing the impact of mass tourism on popular destinations.
  • Use Human-Powered Transportation: Embrace human-powered transportation options like cycling, walking, or even paddling a kayak. Not only do these methods have minimal environmental impact, but they also offer a more intimate and immersive experience of your surroundings.
  • Consume Responsibly: Slow Travel encourages mindful consumption and supporting businesses that prioritize sustainability and ethical practices. Opt for locally-owned accommodations, eco-friendly tours, and restaurants that serve locally sourced, seasonal dishes.


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As our eco-friendly travel adventure draws to a close, I hope you’re inspired to embark on your own sustainable journeys. From cycling through Amsterdam’s canals to sailing on electric ferries across stunning coastlines, the world is filled with eco-friendly transportation options that allow us to explore with joy and respect for our planet.

By embracing sustainable travel practices, such as Slow Travel and choosing eco-friendly transportation, we can significantly reduce our carbon footprint and contribute to the preservation of the beautiful destinations we visit.

Remember, every decision we make, from the transportation we use to the activities we engage in, can make a positive impact on the environment and the communities we encounter.

So, let’s step forward together, celebrating the beauty of our planet, and fostering a more sustainable and responsible approach to travel. Let’s create joyful memories and meaningful connections while preserving the wonders of our world for generations to come.

As you plan your next adventure, may your travels be filled with happiness, wonder, and a deep appreciation for the remarkable planet we call home. Happy and sustainable journeys, dear eco-conscious adventurers! Cheers to embracing sustainable travel and making a difference!

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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