When I came here in Madrid, the first thing that got my attention was Madrid’s metro system. Since I was born in China and am very familiar with Shanghai’s metro system, so I find several differences between these two metro systems.
First, the metro stops are very different. In Shanghai, there are many shops in the metro stops, even though the stops are underground. There are many different shops: restaurants, fast food, clothing, groceries, and kiosks. Some metro stops are even built under the shopping malls, so when you get out of the subway, you have to go through the first floor of the shopping mall. But in Madrid, I seldom see any business in the metro stops except the tickets selling machines and vendor machines. I think Shanghai Metro is smart because it creates more opportunity for small business and those shops also bring convenience to people. It is a win-win solution.
The second difference is that in Shanghai metro system. In Shanghai Metro station, the waiting area is in the middle of two tunnels. In each tunnel, there is only one lane for the metro. However, in most of Madrid metro stations, there is only one tunnel with two lanes in the middle of two waiting area. I think, the reason behind this that in Shanghai, there are much more
In the ranking of Metro systems by annual passenger rides, Tokyo metro is the no. 1, 3.161 billion rides in 2010 and Shanghai is the no.5, 2.101 billion rides in 2011. Madrid is only no.17, 634.5 million in 2011. So building the waiting area in the middle can let people change direction more easily and decrease the total space of the metro stations while have larger waiting area to fit more people.