Osaka Municipal Subway

Osaka Municipal Subway
Native name 大阪市営地下鉄
Ōsaka-shiei chikatetsu
Locale Osaka and Keihanshin region, Japan
Transit type Metro
Number of lines 8 (+ 1 People Mover)
Number of stations 123[1]
133 (incl. People Mover)[1]
Daily ridership 2,464,000 (FY2013)[2]
Began operation May 20, 1933
Operator(s) Osaka Municipal Transportation Bureau
System length 129.9 km (80.7 mi)[1]
137.8 km (85.6 mi) (incl.
People Mover)[1]
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification Third rail lines: 750 V DC, third rail
Sakaisuji Line and linear motor metro lines: 1,500 V DC, overhead lines
Top speed 70 km/h (43 mph)
System map
Map of Osaka Municipal Subway

Osaka Municipal Subway (大阪市営地下鉄 Ōsaka-shiei chikatetsu) is the metro network in the city of Osaka (and also serving Higashiosaka, Kadoma, Moriguchi, Sakai, Suita, and Yao), Japan, forming an integral part of the extensive mass transit system of Greater Osaka (Kansai region), having 123[1] out of the 1,108 rail stations (2007) in the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto region.[3] In 2010 the greater Osaka region had 13 million rail passengers daily (see Transport in Keihanshin) of which the Osaka subway accounts for 2.29 million.[4] It is operated by the Osaka Municipal Transportation Bureau. The Osaka Municipal Subway holds the distinction of being the only subway system in Japan to be legally classified as a tramway, whereas all other subway systems in Japan are legally classified as railways. Despite this, the Osaka Municipal Subway has characteristics typical of that of a full-fledged metro system.[5]


The Midōsuji Line is the main and busiest line in the whole subway network.[6][7][1]

Each station is numbered by the letter the train line starts with and a number, for example, Higobashi Station on the Yotsubashi Line is also known as Y12. All directional signs are written in Japanese and English. On trains, the next station, transfer lines and which side the door will open is automatically announced in Japanese, followed by and automated English announcement, which includes the station number. Local businesses near the next station are then announced in Japanese.

The Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Line, Imazatosuji Line and Sennichimae Line all have platform screen doors.[8] Unlike other rapid transits in Japan, Osaka Municipal Subway uses third rail system as its primary electric system for trains (lines that don't use third rail are the Sakaisuji Line, the Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Line and the Imazatosuji Line which use overhead catenary).


The Osaka Municipal Subway's first service, the Midōsuji Line from Umeda to Shinsaibashi, opened in 1933.[9] A proposal to privatize the Osaka subway was sent to the city government in February 2013, is still under consideration. The privatization would bring private investors to Osaka and could help revive Osaka's economy. The subway could be valued at over 600 billion yen.[10]

Rolling stock

Osaka Municipal Subway rolling stock is divided into conventional electric motored trains and linear motored trains.

Electric motored

Linear motored


Currently, there are eight subway lines, operating on 129.9 kilometers (80.7 mi) and serving 123 stations; there is also a 7.9-kilometer (4.9 mi) long, 10 station automated people mover line operated by the Osaka Municipal Transportation Bureau:[1]

Mark Line
Name Japanese Opened Last extension Length[1] Stations[1]
Red Via trackage rights Kitakyū Namboku Line 北大阪急行電鉄 1970 1970 5.9 km 4[Note 1]
Line 1 Midōsuji Line 御堂筋線 1933 1987 24.5 km 20
Purple Line 2 Tanimachi Line 谷町線 1967 1983 28.1 km 26
Blue Line 3 Yotsubashi Line 四つ橋線 1942 1972 11.4 km 11
Green Line 4 Chūō Line (Yumehanna) 中央線 1997[Note 2] 2.4 km 1[Note 3]
1961[Note 4] 1985 15.5 km 13
Via trackage rights Keihanna Line (Yumehanna) 近鉄けいはんな線 1986 2006 18.8 km 8[Note 5]
Pink Line 5 Sennichimae Line 千日前線 1969 1981 12.6 km 14
Brown HK Via trackage rights Hankyu Senri Line 阪急千里線 1969 13.6 km 11[Note 6]
Hankyu Kyoto Main Line 阪急京都本線 1969[Note 7] 41.1 km 22[Note 8]
Line 6 Sakaisuji Line 堺筋線 1969 1993 8.5 km 10
Lime Line 7 Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Line 長堀鶴見緑地線 1990 1997 15.0 km 17
Gold Line 8 Imazatosuji Line 今里筋線 2006 11.9 km 11
TOTAL (Subway only – not incl. trackage rights portions): 129.9 km 123
Automated people mover
New Tram Nankō Port Town Line 南港ポートタウン線 1997[Note 9] 0.7 km 1[Note 10]
1981[Note 11] 2005 7.2 km 9
TOTAL (Subway, incl. People Mover): 137.8 km[1] 133[1]
Table notes

Planned line and extensions

In addition, there are four line extensions and one new line that are planned. However, on August 28, 2014, the Osaka Municipal Transportation Bureau met about creating the extensions of the later four of the five lines listed below, and have stated considering the current cost of the new extensions and the possibility of privatization, the government has also thought creating light rail transit or bus rapid transit instead.[11]

Mark Line
Name Start Terminus Length
  Line 3 Yotsubashi Line Nishi-Umeda Jūsō, later towards Shin-Ōsaka 2.9 km (to Jūsō)
  Line 5 Sennichimae Line Minami-Tatsumi towards Mito (TBD)
  Line 7 Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Line Taishō Tsurumachi Yonchōme (vicinity) 5.5 km
  Line 8 Imazatosuji Line Imazato Yuzato Rokuchōme 6.7 km
(TBD) - Line 9 Shikitsu–Nagayoshi Line (provisional) Suminoekōen Kire-Uriwari 6.9 km


Ticket machines and fare maps at Shinsaibashi Station

Osaka Municipal Subway charges fares of between 180 yen and 370 yen for single rides for adult passengers based on distance traveled.[12] Some discount fares exist.

Section Rates (yen)[12]
Section 1 (1–3 km)
  • adults: 180 yen
  • children: 90 yen
Section 2 (4–7 km)
  • adults: 240 yen
  • children: 120 yen
Section 3 (8–13 km)
  • adults: 280 yen
  • children: 140 yen
Section 4 (14–19 km)
  • adults: 320 yen
  • children: 160 yen
Section 5 (20–25 km)
  • adults: 370 yen
  • children: 190 yen

1970 gas explosion

On April 8, 1970, a gas explosion occurred during the construction of the Tanimachi Line at Tenjimbashisuji Rokuchōme Station, killing 79 people and injuring 420.[13][14] The gas leaked out from a detached joint and filled the tunnel and exploded, creating a fire pillar of over 10 meters and destroyed 495 houses and buildings.[15]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 営業線の概要 [Overview of operating lines] (in Japanese). 大阪市営交通局 [Osaka Municipal Transportation Bureau]. Archived from the original on January 11, 2014. Retrieved June 7, 2014.
  2. "交通局の予算・決算について" [For budget and balance sheet of Transportation Bureau] (in Japanese). 大阪市営交通局 [Osaka Municipal Transportation Bureau]. Retrieved December 18, 2014.
  3. MiSoL ASP会員サービス・アプリケーション概要
  5. Kokudo Kōtsū Shō Tetsudō Kyoku (2005). Tetsudō Yōran (Heisei 17 Nendo) (in Japanese). Tokyo: Denkisha Kenkyūkai. p. 228. ISBN 4-88548-106-6.
  6. Rogers, Krista. "The most crowded train lines during rush hour in Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya are…". Rocket News 24. Retrieved September 8, 2014.
  7. 大阪府内で働く人の通勤時間は「52分」――理想の路線は?. (in Japanese). September 9, 2014. Retrieved September 8, 2014.
  8. "Osaka subway's Sennichimae Line to have platform screen doors installed in every station Chinese translation to follow". Asian Public Transport. February 13, 2014. Retrieved September 8, 2014.
  9. "公営地下鉄在籍車数ビッグ3 大阪市交通局 (One of the big three public subway operators: Osaka Municipal Subway)". Japan Railfan Magazine. Vol. 49 no. 576. April 2009. pp. 88–99.
  10. Sato, Shigeru; Urabe, Emi (April 14, 2014). "Osaka City Plans Subway Operator Initial Offering to Chase Tokyo". Bloomberg News. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  11. 地下鉄4線延伸「採算厳しい」 有識者審議会. Yomiuri Online (in Japanese). August 29, 2014. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  12. 1 2 "Tickets". Osaka Municipal Transportation Bureau. Retrieved June 7, 2014.
  13. 市会のあゆみ. Osaka City Council Website (in Japanese). Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  14. Pulvers, Roger (November 4, 2012). "Beware the parallels between boom-time Japan and present-day China". The Japan Times. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  15. "Gas Explosion at a Subway Construction Site". Failure Knowledge Center. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
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