Metro celebrates its Centenary with a record number of passengers in 2018, the highest figure in a decade

Metro celebrates its Centenary with a record number of passengers in 2018, the highest figure in a decade
Last year -with 657.2 million users- became the fourth fiscal year with the highest demand. This figure reflects a 4.6 % increase in passengers with respect to 2017, that is, 31 million more, with growth in demand both on working days as well as on Saturdays and public holidays. Sol, Moncloa and Nuevos Ministerios lead the stations with the highest demand, and Lines 6, 1 and 10 register the most traffic. The most significant increases in 2018 occurred in the Estadio Metropolitano, Feria de Madrid and Pinar del Rey Stations. Last 23 November (Black Friday) was the day of the year with the highest demand, 2.6 million journeys, and October was the month with the highest number of users, 66 million. The majority of Metro passengers (75.5 %) accessed the network in 2018 with the Transport Season Ticket.

Metro de Madrid registered a total of 657.2 million passengers in 2018, the highest figure in a decade (since 2008), representing 4.6 % growth with respect to 2017, with an additional 31 million passengers.

With these figures, Metro consolidates its positive growth, starting in 2014, as this is the fifth consecutive annual increase, and confirms the determination of the regional Government to focus on the continuing improvement of this means of public transport, the option most widely used by Madrilenians. In this direction, Ángel Garrido’s Executive gave the go-ahead last month to the procedures for hiring 100 new train drivers – the second expansion of the drivers’ staff establishment during this legislature, following the 360 new drivers engaged in 2016–, an initiative additional to the previously announced purchase of 60 trains starting this year.

The Governing Council of the Regional Government of Madrid was informed today of these figures reflecting Metro’s passenger demand during 2018, which has become the fourth best year in terms of passenger traffic in the 100-year history of the Madrid underground, behind 2007 (687.7 million), 2008 (685.5 million) and 2006 (657.4 million).

The lines with the highest demand are still Line 6, with 107,544,619 journeys; Line 1, with 95,549,987 journeys; and Line 10, with 75,130,369. With respect to stations, Sol (23,720,463 passengers), Moncloa (19,640,249 passengers) and Nuevos Ministerios (17,552,177) continue to attract the most users, although the stations obtaining the most significant increases in passenger numbers are Estadio Metropolitano, Feria de Madrid and Pinar del Rey.

The busiest day in 2018 was Black Friday (23 November), with 2.61 million journeys. During that day, Sol Station was the busiest with a total of 106,959.


The increases in numbers occurred both on working days (4.50 %) as well as on public holidays (5.19 %) and Saturdays (4.70 %), which means that the number of journeys grew both for reasons of work as well as of leisure activities.

October was the month that registered the highest number of users, with 66 million. However, April was the month with the highest growth with respect to 2017, 16.91 %, while the month of September broke an historic record in its series reaching 53 million journeys.

The majority of Metro’s passengers in 2018, 75.5 %, accessed the network with a Transport Season Ticket, while the remaining 24.5 % used other transport passes, such as the 10-journey ticket (20.7 %) and the single ticket (3.7 %). With respect to the last mentioned, the elimination of paper tickets has led to a 29.19 % decline in its use. The use of the Young Persons Season Ticket has also grown 9 %, registering 168.9 million journeys with this season ticket (26.3 %).


This year the Community of Madrid is celebrating the Centenary of Metro de Madrid, inaugurated by King Alfonso XIII in 1919, for which purpose it has organised a range of activities aimed at the Madrilenians focussed on culture, history, sport and citizen participation.

As a result, citizens can enjoy the classical train exhibition inaugurated by His Majesty King Felipe VI in October of last year in Chamartín Station, where visitors can see what it was like to travel on the underground from the early days of the company through to the seventies in the past century through four fully restored classical Metro cars.

Moreover, Metro has launched its ‘Centenary Line’, a permanent exhibition in the stations on the original route from Cuatro Caminos to Sol (Line 1), which offers a journey through the history of Metro through oversized photos installed in ticket halls, on platforms and in corridors. A vinyl-wrapped train with the appearance of the original trains runs continuously on the line.

Another exhibition at the Madrid Barajas-Adolfo Suárez Airport enables visitors to learn about the present and the future of the underground through a series of photographs, up to 31 January.

There will also be room for sports activities in these celebrations: on 3 February, Madrid citizens are invited to participate in the ‘Centenary Race’, an historic 5-kilometre route on the surface between Cuatro Caminos and Sol, following the same route inaugurated in 1919 of what was then known as the North-South Line (

Also, starting today, drawings by school children in the Autonomous Community of Madrid can be submitted for participating in the ‘What does Metro mean for you?’ [¿Qué es Metro para ti?] contest, an initiative set in the framework of the Centenary activities with the intention of discovering how children between 6 and 12 years of age view the Madrid underground. The period for submitting entries ends on 1 March next.

Also this month, Metro de Madrid will inaugurate a photography exhibition in which well-known faces from the world of culture and sport in Spain will promote the use of public transport.


Metro de Madrid was inaugurated on 17 October 1919 between Sol and Cuatro Caminos with eight stations and four kilometres. One century later, the underground extends to 12 municipalities in the region of Madrid where more than 75 % of their inhabitants have a Metro entrance at a distance of less than 600 metres from their homes. Metro has grown exponentially up to the 294 km and 301 stations which the network has at the present time, placing it among the major underground systems in the world. And not only can it boast of its size. Second only to Shanghai, Madrid’s Metro is the most accessible in the world, with a total of 1,699 escalators and 515 lifts.

The Metro trains running on a working day travel a total of 100,000 kilometres, that is, a distance of two and a half times around the world.  In addition, the Control Post of the Madrid underground is an international reference for the railway sector.

Among other figures of interest, Metro has 6,849 employees, 1,254 sales machines and 8,563 surveillance cameras, and its trains can reach a speed of 110 kilometres per hour on some sections of track, although the average speed of the trains in the network ranges between 30 and 32 kilometres per hour.