The City of Milan is well known because of their two remarkable soccer teams: Milan AC and the Milan Inter. As well, Milan is a prestigious center of arts and another capital of fashion just like New York, Paris, Rome and London, with fashion designers, beauty and fashion events and the center of one of the most known stage of music and opera scenario in the world: Scala di Milano. All of them represent some points of references of this marvelous city.
But in Milan exists one of the most representative well-constructed transportation system in Europe after finished the second war world, with four lines and serving thousands of people every day. However, the Milan Subway is the largest underground system in Italy (more than the Rome´s subway) and one of the younger subways in Europe.
The Milan Subway was built during the 50´s decade and 60´s (from 1957 to 1964). The last line was finished in 2015. Initially this subway was designed and built with a municipality funds and loans from the private banks. In the first time this system didn’t presented any kind of mezzanine or similar area. Later, in the continuity of this project were finished different zones for crossing streets and gates for collecting tickets.
The Milan Subway in current days continues expanding its services and the present administration is planning to increase the operations and extensions with more trains, lines and stations. One of them will be concluded in the present year (2017).
Lines and Stations
The Milan Subway has four (4) lines and one hundred and eleven stations (111), has 95.5 Km of extension. This infrastructure is considered the largest subway in Italy.
- The first line is M1 Line, passing for IL Duomo and arrive to San Babila.
- Line M2 departs from Central Station.
- Line M3, with several stops: IL Duomo, Montenapoleone street (the most important commercial zone of the city), and finally the Central Station.
- And Line M5, stopping in San Siro Stadium and Garibaldi Station.
For somebody who wants to visit Milan (tourist, businessman or other) this system offer the opportunity to see and enjoy emblematic places with plenty of vibrant history and beauty for everybody. For example, it’s possible to observe an excellent architecture structure like the IL Duomo or San Siro Stadium one of the biggest stadium for soccer games and home of the Milan Inter (the famous and one of the more traditional soccer team with millions of fans around the world).
Hours and frequency of services
For someone who needs or wants to use the Milan Subway is important to know the hours of service for public in general and time waiting for any train (frequency). This transportation system works from 6 am until 00:30 at midnight every day and every train is possible to take in period of 4 minutes of waiting in average but the M2 Line, because of the long distance, the waiting time is 30 minutes.
The Milan Subway works every day and changes its hour service in May first and Christmas day (December 25th): 7:00 am until 19:30 pm. This frequency of service means an efficient service and also represent a spirit of excellency in which the workers are prepared in order to do a good job with a high level of responsibility and dedication for the employee and staff in general.
If you are interested in visiting this wonderful city in the next days or weeks and you need to know how and where can you buy the subway tickets, there is some places and ways in where are sailing and get them. The Milan Subway´s tickets are sailing in their stations, some stores, in the post office, in every newspaper kiosks or you can buy them by online (visiting the Milan city web site).
Now, but maybe you are asking yourself about how much they are? Well, if you are interested in one way trip in the subway you only need a Single Ticket and its costs is € 1,50. But if you need a roundtrip option or take more time this kind of transportation, you may buy ticket bonus. The ticket bonus costs € 4,50. The expiration time is 24 hours each bonus ticket and it is able to use for a roundtrip option.
Also, there are bonus ticket for multiple stations and time (exactly 48 hours of validation time) and its costs is € 8,25 or you can buy especial bonus tickets for multiple times and station for more of 48 hours and they are costs from 8,40 to € 10.
But if you are a student, it is possible to show your student ID and you´ll receive a discount in the price. Another option for use this subway is a “Travel Card” that its costs is € 10 but perhaps it is not a good alternative for visiting tourists with not enough funds to spend during a short vacation and a limited budget.
The Milan Subway has regulations and penalties about baggage and hand baggage. For example, a 50 cmts luggage is allowed but baggage with more than 90 cmts is not allowed in this kind of transportation. In order to avoid future inconveniences is better carrying on small suitcase instead big bags.
Milan Metro Map
Additionally, rules around its area are necessary to follow, like some safety regulations for users: as the same kind of rules that you can find in every underground transportation system, in the Milan Subway you have to stay separated to enough distance from the train rails and signals lines. During your permanence in their areas you have to follow these rules and recommendations:
- 1) When you walking up or down the stairs always hold firmly onto the handrail in order to keep your body balance. Please try to be sure that any children with your responsibility do the same.
- 2) Keep to the right on all escalators.
- 3) Do not use the alarm system at least a real emergency is happening.
- 4) Please ensure the weight limit.
- 5) On reaching the ticket barriers do not forget to stamp your ticket or season ticket.
- 6) Each ticket must has to be stamped before any subway journey.
- 7) Pay attention to any announcement inside of the subway zone.
- 8) Do not throw litter onto the floor or the track or the track.
- 9) Keep clean station areas: Dispense any newspaper, papers or trash in the bins distributed around the station areas. Do not throw away on floor and rail trains any kind of objects or trashes.
- 10) No smoking inside trains and stations.
- 11) Wait the train behind the yellow lines.
- 12) Give way to descending passengers before attempting to boarding the train.
- 13) When you are boarding, or descending from train keep in mind the gap between train and platform.
- 14) Allow to depart the train immediately after you have descended it.
- 15) Any children must be close with their parents or adult mate.
- 16) When standing on board trains hold firmly onto the pole or railings. Ensure that any children traveling with you do the same.
- 17) Give up your seat to pregnant women, elderly or disability people.
- 18) Do not occupy the wheelchair space.
- 19) Do not lean out doors and windows.
- 20) Be sure that your children be carried or held by the hand on the escalators.
- 21) Be sure of prams and pushchairs should be positioned so as to avoid possible inconvenience to other passengers.
- 22) Respect any advice or indications from the subway employee or law officer (Carabinieri).
- 23) Guns and weapons are prohibited inside subway stations.
Parking in the Subway: Parking Zones
Milan is well known for many activities related with art, design, fashion industry and sport, but this city is mentioned internationally too by its automobile traffic problems and difficulties in get a good place to park your car. Now it is possible find several options for parking lots. Exactly there are twenty-one parking lots distributed near of this underground transport system stations. All of them have disability driver’s areas and are regulated and protected by strict rules of use in where only disability drivers must be allow to parking there.
The others parking lots are located near the main station and the principal stations like M3. For example, if you are coming from the north in your car you may park in Maciachini or if you are coming from the south your better option is park in San Donato. All of them have especial agreements with the Milan Subway and you will obtain cheaper prices (€ 1,50 per hour) and you will be close to the main station (M2 and M3) and you should get access to the Milan downtown in few minutes because both parking lots are situated closely to this zone mentioned before.
Connection to the airport
The Milan Subway is not directly connected to the all airports that are working and serving in this city: Linate and Malpensa, but there is a connection between the Malpensa airport (the main airport in the city) and the principal train line called Malpensa Express that is the better way to go to the two-main train station: Milano Centrale and Cadorna-Milano Nord. In those stations is possible to make a transfer with the Milan Subway taking line 1 or 2 depending, which is your final destination in this city. Are you interested in go to Milan downtown from the Malpensa airport? The suggestion is first of all take the north train that is possible to aboard in the Milano Centrale and Cardona stations, in both is possible to aboard the Milan Subway, catching the line 1 or 2 (both are good options to access other kind of transportation like buses or line 3 of Milan Subway). Then you are a few minutes to the Milan downtown from those station lines.
New lines were opened last 2015, exactly in May 5th. They were an extension of 7,4 km. Represents five new stations: Domodossola FNM, Lotto, Segesta, San Siro Ippodromo, San Siro Stadio. Also, is waiting for finishing the last step of this important line with the five resting stations: Monumentale, Cenisio, Gerusalemme, The Torri and Portello. All of them will be concluded at least in October 2015 or in 2017.
The project of this Line 5, began in 1999 but for different problems and interruptions that could not be able to culminate the project. For this reason, these lines were called by the Milan natives “The unconcluded project”. But now last 2015 were opened the first step of this project by public service.
In the future, the Milan Subway has projected to expand their lines. In the next years, the line M2 will be expanded 4.7 Km with two stations: Famagosta and Milanofiori Forum. Also, is planning to expand the line M3 with four more stations that would be 4.5 km. All of them should be terminated in the following years.
The Milan Subway has attended a total of 3000000 users during the last 2006 and every year serves from 2000000 (two million) to 3000000 (three million) of people in their lines and trains. This important transportation system represents a technological innovation because in order to offer an effective and an efficient service, this subway is substituting human drivers by automatic pilots operated by computers and satellite systems. Another important point is the internet service that is able to use in every zone of this underground transportation system, because each station and each train has been installed wi fi connections.
All of those benefits is in order to offer better service for the increasing population who are attending this service. According to the statistics every year the Milan Subway is a serving to more or less 300 million of people and for the next decades it is supposed to increase in 400 million of people every year. For this reason, is necessary to implement or adopt any technology in order to warranty quality and efficiency in the service offered in it. The future of the Milan Subway is a process of incorporation and actualization of technical advances and services to users, trying to get the mayor satisfaction in every user.
The Milan Subway administration is thinking in all of these elements explained before and is acquiring vanguard technology and investing a lot of money trying to obtain the most standard of efficiency and quality in service.
Tips for the Subway users
Milan is a big city in which every tourist has the opportunity to enjoy the attractive points to visitors. Museums, art galleries, theaters, restaurants, all of them are possible to reach by the subway because all of their lines and stations are situated so closely to those touristic places. An important tip is the information stands that are located in all stations and, don´t worry there are some multilingual speaker employees who are disposed to help you in every necessity that you need or requirement (near hotels, shopping centers, restaurants, or other places and issues). However, the Milan Subway has been installed many announces, advises and electronic blackboards announcing or advising any kind of information in Italian and English.
Another important point would be the security in the subway´s areas: do not forget the terrorism problem! Your collaboration and respect to security personnel or any police officer in checking your belongings and luggage, checking your passport, etc. is considered imperative in this moment in all Europe. Remember the last terrorist actions occurred in France, Belgium, Germany. Thus, every place in this continent represent a potential center for a terrorist attack. Italy is not an exception of this reality and the Italian government is ready to act and the alarm is turned on in every place in order to minimize or avoid a hazard situation. For it objective offer your collaboration and be polite with any law officer and do not disturbing any activity or interference in developing any action implemented to preserve your security and the security of everybody.
However, do not be nervous for that problem in which you are independent of occurrence. Try to spend a good time in your visit. When you are in the subway stations be sure about timing operations, departure and arrive time for next train, work schedules, remember all of these tips in order to don´t have problems with checking or checkout hours in your hotel and another inconvenience to be at time in places like museums, galleries, theaters, stadiums, etc. Enjoy your time and if you need help don´t be afraid asking in a bad Italian language! Maybe inclusive you will find somebody who understand you or probably speak your language (for example in Italy are many people who are studying a foreign language or who speak a second language: English, Spanish, French or German).
Curious Facts or Information.
The Milan Subway as the public transportation service in Milan had a strike in June 3rd 2013. It was a terrible moment for a tourist from Spain who told her experience trying to aboard buses, trains and finally the subway. First of all, she had to spend a lot of time waiting for a bus in the bus station in order to aboard a bus and later get transfer to the train. She had to wait in a large file of people trying to buy a ticket to use it in the bus and the subway (it is possible to buy a bonus ticket able to use in both transportation services). Lately, she could aboard the bus but she couldn´t find a seat. Later, she lost in the subway station the train and because of the strike she had to wait for more than forty-five minutes for the next train.
She spent another thirty minutes in the subway journey between one station to the next station (normally it is only 10 minutes). It was obvious that the subway workers tried to produce chaos and slow activities in their job. This was a kind of their protest. They were soliciting a better salary scale. During 2012 and 2013 the public transportation system in Milan (understanding public transportation: train, buses and subway) was affected with two strike developed by the worker unions in order to obtain better salaries. Now and then in everywhere is it probably to observe this situation and Milan is not an exception, only in Italy occurred twice in two years consecutively.
For every tourist who expect to enjoy peacefully and quiet time in a society in which the “slow way of life” is it the most appreciated or valued tradition in the Italian culture, any stressing experience try to avoid and get information with your travel agency about every abnormal situation that would generate problems in your vacation time.
Anyway, you can also try another plan in order to spend a pleasant time in your vacation in Milan instead to use the subway: for example walk on the street and enjoy seen the artists performances in a corner, or enjoy eating in a small restaurant a good pasta or pizza with a glass of wine, or a delicious ice cream (the famous “Gelato Italiano” is imperative taste it), and wait meanwhile you can get a bus or the subway train result any unexpected situation. But if you are visiting Milan for business motivation, probably “time is gold” and problems trying to aboard a bus or a subway train represent in fact a big headache for you. Don´t think it any more time and choose one practical decision: rent a car or take a taxi.
Other points related to tourist interest about the Milan Subway and every point related with transportation system would be is visiting web sites or social networks like facebook, tweeter, Instagram and else. Ask your friends or chat who somebody in the web trying to know everything about personal experiences in tourists who you may meet in those sources (Facebook and tweeter are excellent sources to meet people and you can obtain well or bad references about your adventure in your next travel to Milan