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Delhi Metro vs New York City subway: The US is lagging behind

As a New Yorker, I rely on the city’s subway system for my daily commute to work and back. And while it is extensive and well-connected, it’s hardly ever reliable.
The aging system is in tatters, and is plagued by frequent outages and delays, often making the experience a frustrating one. It’s not the cleanest, either, with trash regularly littering the rat-infested tracks.
The Delhi Metro, in contrast, was an absolute joy to ride on.
I took the Metro on a recent trip to the Indian capital — and my hometown — and found that it was not only clean and convenient, but also extremely reliable.
Here’s a closer look at my experience on the Delhi Metro.

It was not my first time on it — I had used it a handful of times when I lived in Delhi until 2013 and quite enjoyed the experience. But I was curious to see whether anything had changed over the past five years, and if operational headaches had begun to catch up with its management.
But I found it to be as well-maintained, and in some aspects, even better than before.
Not only was it impeccably clean and comfortable, but also highly convenient. Everything you could possibly need on your journey is at your fingertips.
Plus, driving through Delhi’s crazy traffic and choked roads from Jor Bagh to Chandni Chowk would have taken me at least an hour. But thanks to the Delhi Metro, I was at my destination in 20 minutes.
I have been fortunate to experience the metro/subway systems in New York, Boston, San Francisco, London, Singapore, Athens and Paris. And Delhi scores the highest points among them all in terms of ensuring safety. The security checkpoints are unlike anything I’ve encountered elsewhere.
It was also refreshing to see the metro continue to run smoothly and not get crushed under the weight of increased ridership at the busiest time of the year. Had it been New York, I shudder to think of the massive delays that would have invariably resulted.
The Delhi Metro, in my opinion, is one of the best subway systems in the world.
It will be interesting, however, to see how how it will contend with surging ridership and aging rolling stock moving forward. But for now, at least, it is a mode of public transportation at par with, or better, than some of the best systems around the world.
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