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Sapporo Municipal Subway

2-4-1 Oyachihigashi, Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido 〒004-8555
TEL 011-896-2708 (Operation Management Department, General Affairs Section)
FAX 011-896-2790
URL http://www.city.sapporo.jp/st/english/english.html

Overview of Operations

The Birth of the Sapporo Municipal Subway

In 1960’s and afterwards, Sapporo saw rapid growth as a city and an accompanying need to accommodate rapidly growing urban transport demand. In addition, considering Sapporo’s uniquely challenging weather conditions, including heavy snowfall and cold temperatures, it was decided that a subway system should be introduced. In March 1968, an application for a permit was submitted, and in March of the following year, construction started. The 12.1km route between Kita-Nijuyo-jo and Makomanai Stations opened in December 1971 – two months prior to the opening of the Sapporo Winter Olympics.

The Rapid Pace of Expansion

After the 1971 opening of the Namboku Line (the First Line), coinciding with the expansion of the city, a second main line, the Tozai Line (the Second Line) commenced operation in 1976 between Kotoni Station and Shiroishi Station, a route of 9.9km, in 1978 the Namboku Line from Kita-Nijuyo-jo to Asabu Stations (2.2km), in 1982 the Tozai Line from Shiroishi to Shin-Sapporo tations (7.4km), in 1988 the 3rd main line, the Toho Line(the Third Line) connecting Sakaemachi Station with Hosui-Susukino Station (8.1km), in 1994 the Toho line from Hosui-Susukino to Fukuzumi Stations (5.5km). in 1999 the Tozai Line from Kotoni Station and Miyanosawa Station (2.8km). Thus, since its commencement in 1971, the expansion of Sapporo’s subway system has continued apace, and, currently covering a total distance of 48km, forms the backbone of Sapporo’s public transportation system.

Utilisation of Rubber Tires and the Introduction of Computer Control Systems

The rubber-tired trains in use on Sapporo’s subway system are the first of their kind utilised in large scale. The rubber tires, which reduce noise and allow for a more comfortable ride, are used in tandem with a central guidance rail.

Operation management systems automatically control the trains according to the schedule, and the systems also provide passenger services such as automatic announcements to passengers at platforms and information displays. Multiple signals-safety systems including Automatic Train Control (ATC), Centralised Train Control (CTC), and Automatic Train Operation (ATO) are in place to ensure safe operation. The Sapporo City Transportation Bureau are doing their utmost to introduce automation in order to make vital labor-savings at stations. Such measures include central observation of ticket gates, automated ticket-vending machines, and automated ticket gates.

Progression of Impediment Removal Measures

Stations are equipped with elevators, accessible toilets, audio guidance for entrances, exits, and toilet facilities, as well as braille information facilities, tactile paving, braille-imprinted handrails on stairways, and other facilities to ensure that the needs of all passengers are fulfilled. In addition to these in-station facilities, each train is equipped with two designated spaces for the use of a wheelchair ( in the case of the Toho line, four spaces per train).

Guaranteed Safety, Speed, and Comfort

In order to improve safety and efficiency, each system for train operations is connected by optical communication systems. Furthermore, operation command is in place for surveillance of the operational situation of the subway system, as well as 24-hour observation of electrical systems and facilities.

Introduction of the IC Card Transport Pass

In January 2009, the Sapporo Information Network Co.Ltd-issued transport pass, “SAPICA”, was introduced on all subway lines in the city. 10% of fares are awarded to customers in the form of points, and if upon alighting the train the total number of accumulated points exceeds the fare, the points are automatically used instead of the balance. From June 2016, the Sapporo subway system began accepting Suica, and other compatible transport passes.

Installation of Moveable Platform Fence

In order to prevent falling onto the tracks or contacting with the trains, the installation of moveable platform fence began in 2008. By 2016, the installation of these facilities was completed across all three lines of the subway system.

IC Card transport pass/Introduced on all Sapporo subway lines in January 2009.
When used at exits, 10% of the fare is awarded as points.
From June 2013, the transport pass system expanded to include the city trams and privately operated buses in Sapporo.
Moveable platform fence/Installation across all three lines was completed in 2016.
In 2008, installation on the Tozai Line was completed.
Installation on the Namboku line was finished in 2012.
Installation on the Toho Line was completed in 2016.
(Pictured is the Toho Line)
Rubber tires/Sapporo’s subway system is unique for its utilization of rubber tires on all subway lines. Compared to conventional iron wheels, rubber tires are quieter and provide a more comfortable ride, as well as possessing superior acceleration, deceleration, and slope climbing capabilities.
Puncture detection equipment/Devices are installed to automatically detect punctures in the rubber tires. As the tires pass over points on the roll way, the respective load on the left and right wheels is measured electronically, and after making a comparison, whether or not there has been a puncture is ascertained, and a corresponding signal is emitted.
Safe carriages for women and children/Between the first departure of the day and 09:00, one dedicated safe carriage for women and children are available on the Namboku and Tozai Lines.
Overhead shelters on the Elevated Bridges of Namboku LineIn order to reduce construction costs, between Hiragishi Station and Makomanai Station on the Namboku Line, construction method of elevated bridges are adopted. For this section of the subway, the tracks are covered with aluminum alloy shelters as a measure for preventing disruption due to snowfall. The shelters also provide an effective noise reduction measure.
A 5000 series train running beneath a shelter on the Namboku Line.

Route Map

● Click to enlarge the image.


Lost property:  011-241-2938 (Lost Property Center)

Municipal transport queries:  011-232-2277 (Sapporo City Transport Information Center)

Queries regarding disabled access facilities:   011-896-2744 (Rapid Transit Department, General Affairs Section)

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