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London Underground: the Tube - statistics & facts

Established in 1863 as the Metropolitan Railway, the London Underground is the world’s first train service operating underground; it furthermore constitutes the longest metro system in Europe, ranking above Madrid, Berlin, and Paris. Nicknamed “the Tube,” the London Underground is a subsidiary of Transport for London (TfL), a transport provider that is also responsible for the Elizabeth Line, DLR, London Overground, London Buses, and Santander Cycles, among other transport services.

Since 1950, the amount of passenger kilometers traveling via the London Underground has nearly doubled, climbing to over twelve billion kilometers in 2019. The network has also expanded to eleven lines, with the busiest lines including the Northern, Central, Jubilee, and Victoria lines.

Tube traffic

The London Underground not only welcomes around 1.35 billion passengers yearly, but it also brings in an annual revenue of over 2.5 billion British pounds, a revenue that has generally been climbing year over year. The Tube is the most profitable service run by Transport for London, with annual Tube fare revenue bringing in almost double the amount of revenue generated by TfL bus fares.

The busiest station on the underground network is King’s Cross St. Pancras, with over 90 million entries and exits recorded annually over recent years; it has also been recorded as the busiest underground station on weekends. The underground station links to one of London’s busiest national rail terminals – and one of Europe’s most connected railway stations – with both domestic and international destinations.

Transport for London stated in its 2020/2021 budget report that it expected the overall number of passenger journeys to increase between 2019/20 and 2020/21. London’s metro system has observed a drastic fall in passenger volumes and ticket sales; it remains to be seen whether the company will meet its ridership target for the year.

For further information about the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, please visit our dedicated Facts and Figures page.

Keeping customers satisfied

The London Underground has been ranked as the leading transport provider brand in the UK by BrandIndex in terms of qualities such as brand quality, impression, and satisfaction; indeed, customer satisfaction with the Tube has generally increased over the past decade, with 84 percent of users claiming they were content with the state of operations in 2019/2020.

In order to boost efficiency, capacity, and passenger satisfaction with the London Underground, Transport for London has begun to modernize its network on various lines, on which its poorest-performing fleets run, such as the Central line. Another improvement on the network includes the planned replacement of analog signaling with automatic train operation on the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City, and Metropolitan lines. Transport for London is furthermore working with its supplier, Siemens Mobility, to design and deliver 94 new, modern Tube trains for the Piccadilly line.

Interesting statistics

In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the 22 most important statistics relating to "London Underground: the Tube".


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