When exploring a new city, many visitors will rely on the local public transport systems, including buses, ferries, trains, and in many large cities across the world, underground or metro systems.
To understand how people feel about the underground systems in some of the most visited cities in the world, we’ve analysed over 100,000 Google Maps reviews of over 7,000 underground stations and networks for the sentiment and keywords used to score cities on their cleanliness, timeliness, safety, and overall opinion of each city’s underground transport hubs.
- The Jakarta MRT is the best-reviewed metro system in the world, scoring 383 out of 546 points on positive and negative sentiment in Google Reviews
- The Los Angeles Metro Rail is the most positively reviewed underground system, scoring 71.4% in positive statements and sentiment
- The Cairo Metro scored best for negative reviews, with few reviews of the Egyptian capital’s metro featuring negative statements and sentiment
- Madrid’s Metro is the worst-reviewed network in our analysis, scoring just 179 out of 546 points for positive and negative sentiment in Google Reviews
Best Reviewed ‘Underground Stations’
Our analysis of ‘Underground Stations’ reviews found that the Jakarta MRT subway was the best-reviewed, with Jakarta’s station and network scoring 382 (70.1%) out of a possible 546 review points.
The main areas where Jakarta performed well were in groupings and statements focused on cleanliness (91%), staff helpfulness (88.5%), and overall sentiment (87.2%).
Close behind Jakarta, Guangzhou scored 65.4% of the possible 546 available, with the Chinese city scoring very highly in reviews praising the architecture (89.7%). Behind the top two, Bengaluru (Bangalore) scored 348 out of the possible 546 to rank third, Frankfurt (61.5%) ranked fourth, and Kolkata (60.6%) fifth.
At the other end of the table, Madrid was found to have the lowest scores when it came to positive and negative reviews, scoring just 32.8% (179) in the overall analysis of scores, followed by Buenos Aires (35.5%).
Rounding off the ‘bottom’ five for review sentiment are: Rome (36.4%), Barcelona (43.2%), and Amsterdam (44.1%).
So it becomes an adventure for tourists to leave from the very central station in Amsterdam or Madrid, or to reach the central areas in Barcelona, such as Sagrada Familia and Plaza de Cataluna.
Breaking Down The Reviews
Osaka, according to Google Reviews, has the best reviews when it comes to affordability, scoring 65 out of a possible 78 in reviews discussing the prices of the metro rail. Close behind Osaka, Singapore and Los Angeles – with connections to iconic neighborhoods like Hollywood – scored 64 out of 78. Strange not to find the English capital, as many spots in London are well connected by subway.
At the other end of the affordability measure, Warsaw (18), Porto (19), and Buenos Aires (20) scored the lowest in reviews discussing how affordable (or unaffordable) the metro stations and system are.
The Saudi Arabian city of Riyadh was found to be regarded as the cleanest underground system, scoring 75 out of a possible 78 in our analysis of positive and negative sentiment towards the cleanliness of stations.
Making up the rest of the top five for cleanliness sentiment in reviews are: Jakarta (71), Kolkata (67), Bengaluru (60), and Delhi (60).
Melbourne (16), Stockholm (19), and Moscow (24) were found to be the lowest reviewed when it came to sentiment and mentions of cleanliness on their respective metro systems and stations.
Vienna is the best city for timely and fast underground transport, scoring 65 out of a possible 78 for positive and negative sentiment towards the timekeeping and speed of the Vienna Metro and its stations.
However, at the other end of the scale, Frankfurt (8) was found to be the lowest reviewed when it came to timeliness and speedy service at the stations reviewed. Our analysis found Riyadh (20) and Buenos Aires (21) to be the second and third worst-reviewed for timekeeping and speed.
Shenzhen’s Metro was found to be the best-reviewed for convenience of locations and services, with the city scoring 78 out of 78 for positive and negative sentiment in regards to convenience in the reviews analysed.
Behind Shenzhen, Melbourne (70) was ranked the second-best for convenience according to positive and negative sentiment in reviews; followed by: Guangzhou (64), Warsaw (58), and Lisbon (57).
According to the reviews analysed, Porto (13), Buenos Aires (14), and Lima (17) had the worst scores for sentiment in regards to the convenience of their stations and services.
According to our analysis, Frankfurt is the best city for helpful and friendly staff being mentioned in reviews, scoring 78 out of a possible 78. In second place for staff helpfulness and friendliness in reviews is Jakarta (69).
Rounding off the top five cities for helpful and friendly staff being mentioned in reviews are Fukuoka (59), Guangzhou (57), and Stockholm (54).
At the other end of the scale, Rome (15) was the lowest-rated and ranked for staff friendliness and helpfulness in Google Reviews, followed by Buenos Aires (21), and Milan (22).
Guangzhou, according to Google Reviews, has the best reviews when it comes to the building and architecture of the stations analysed, scoring 70 out of a possible 78 in our index.
Cairo (65), Riyadh (60), Porto (59), and Milan (58) make up the top five cities for positive and negative sentiment in regards to the architecture being discussed in the reviews analysed.
Los Angeles (14) was found to be the worst-reviewed in regards to the sentiment towards the building and architecture of metro stations, followed by San Francisco (21) and Melbourne (21).
Jakarta was found to have the best ratio of positive to negative sentiment in Google Reviews, scoring a 68 out of a possible 78 points, in our analysis of reviews expressly describing stations positively or negatively.
Warsaw was found to have the second-highest points for overall sentiment, scoring 66 points, followed by Istanbul (65), Bengaluru (63), and Kolkata (61).
Shenzhen was found to have the lowest ratio of reviews expressly describing stations positively or negatively (2), followed by Rome (7), and Milan (12).
Best Underground Reviews Index
We collated 120,000 Google Maps reviews of ‘Underground Stations’ across 39 cities within Euromonitor’s Top 100 City Destinations, analysing the reviews for a series of 81 positive and negative keywords related to cleanliness, timeliness, safety, and overall outlook of the stations.
An index points system was then used to tally (out of score 546) an overall figure as to which city has the best reviewed underground transportation network and stations.
The highest scores in each category were awarded based on each city’s rank for each grouping. For the positive groupings, cities with the highest volume of associated words were given the highest scores. This was then combined with awarding city’s the highest scores per negative grouping when they had the lowest volumes of associated words.