Rapid transit systems around the world
Rapid transit or mass rapid transit (MRT), also known as heavy rail, metro, subway, tube, or underground, is a type of high-capacity public transport generally found in urban areas. Unlike buses or trams, rapid transit systems are electric railways that operate on an exclusive right-of-way, which cannot be accessed by pedestrians or other vehicles of any sort, and which is often grade-separated in tunnels or on elevated railways.
Modern services on rapid transit systems are provided on designated lines between stations typically using electric multiple units on rail tracks, although some systems use guided rubber tires, magnetic levitation (maglev), or monorail. The stations typically have high platforms, without steps inside the trains, requiring custom-made trains in order to minimize gaps between train and platform. They are typically integrated with other public transport and often operated by the same public transport authorities. However, some rapid transit systems have at-grade intersections between a rapid transit line and a road or between two rapid transit lines.
Countries with railway networks do not necessarily have rapid transit systems; trams and light rail systems also fall outside the scope of this article.