How To Use Metros in Cities: Skylines (Complete Guide)

Metro Train emerging from a tunnel in Cities: Skylines

Metros are one of the best modes of transport that you can use in Cities: Skylines. Each vehicle can transport a large number of passengers at a time (150 in the base game).

Because of this, a good metro system can easily reduce the number of cars on your roads.

To start using metros, you’ll need to first reach the Big Town population milestone (1,800 to 7,500 citizens, depending on the map). Once that’s unlocked, you can start setting up your metro system, which involves the following steps:

  • Placing metro stations
  • Building metro tracks
  • Assigning lines

Step 1: Placing Metro Stations

You’ll find metro stations by going to the Transport menu and clicking on the Metro tab.

You also have the option of building your metro stations at ground level, underground, or elevated.

Placing an underground metro station. / Cities: Skylines
Placing an underground metro station.
A ground-level metro station. / Cities: Skylines
A ground-level metro station.

Underground is the easiest to integrate into your city; the drawback is that underground tracks are far more expensive to build.

Note: These can all connect to each other, so your metro system can be any combination of the three.

Step 2: Building Metro Tracks

Next, use the metro track tool to connect your stations together.

Placing metro tracks. / Cities: Skylines
Placing metro tracks.

Press Page Up or Page Down to change the elevation when building tracks (e.g., press Page Down to build underground).

As earlier mentioned, underground tracks are much more expensive to build than above ground tracks. But they are significantly easier to integrate since you don’t have to share a space with roads and buildings.

A similar length of tracks costs nearly 5 times as much when built underground. / Cities: Skylines
A similar length of tracks costs nearly 5 times as much when built underground.
A tunnel entrance like this appears when your tracks go from ground level to underground. / Cities: Skylines
A tunnel entrance like this appears when your tracks go from ground level to underground.

When building underground, your tracks won’t be able to intersect with other paths such as underground roads or pedestrian paths.

On the other hand, above-ground tracks may intersect with roads, creating a crossing. (Avoid doing this in areas with heavy road traffic as it may cause slowdowns).

A metro crossing. / Cities: Skylines
A metro crossing.

You have the option of building one-way metro tracks. These will need to be built as a loop in order for the vehicles to be able to go back to their initial stop.

Step 3: Assigning Lines

With your stations and tracks set up, it’s time to assign lines.

Select the Metro Line tool, then click on the stations you want to include in that line.

Use the metro line tool to assign stops. / Cities: Skylines
Use the metro line tool to assign stops.

Remember that each line has to end where it started. You can do this by creating a loop, or by simply going back down the line in the opposite direction (metro vehicles are able to reverse at stations).

When working with loops, assign a line going clockwise and another counter-clockwise so that passengers can get to their destinations more quickly.

A loop line with 5 stations. / Cities: Skylines
A loop line with 5 stations.
A simple linear line that goes back and forth between two points. / Cities: Skylines
A simple linear line that goes back and forth between two points.A simple linear line that goes back and forth between two points.

Metro vs. Monorail vs. Train: Which One To Use?

Each one has attributes that make it more suitable for certain situations.

Metros and monorails are both great for medium- or long-distance travel; the key difference is in the way they integrate into your city.

Monorail tracks are always elevated, and are much cheaper to build than elevated metro tracks. Monorail tracks are also able to make tighter turns, which makes them easy to integrate in cramped spaces.

The main disadvantage of monorails is they cannot go underground at all.

Monorail stations are also louder than metro stations, which you’ll need to be mindful of when placing them near residential zones.

For the most part, metros are better suited to medium-distance travel compared to trains, which excel in long distance. Train tracks are cheaper per cell, but train stations are much more expensive.

Also, of these three modes of transportation, trains are the only rail transport that have an outside connection.

Here’s a quick table to compare some numbers between all three modes of transport:

Metro Monorail Train
Cost per Station (₡) 10,000

15,000 underground


20,000 with road

Upkeep Cost per Station (₡/week) 160

240 underground

340 with road
Track cost (₡) 80

280 elevated

380 underground

75 elevated 60

180 elevated

360 underground

Station Noise Pollution 50 80 115
Capacity Per Vehicle (base game) 150 180 240

Advantages of Metros over Monorails

  • Tracks can go underground
  • Quieter stations & an option for underground stations

Advantages of Monorails over Metros

  • Cheaper to build elevated; can be built right above existing roads
  • Tracks can make much tighter turns
  • Has slightly higher passenger capacity per vehicle

Advantages of Metros over Trains

  • Cheaper and quieter stations
  • Option for an underground station

Advantages of Trains over Metros

  • Allow for intercity trains
  • Cheaper to build tracks over long distances

Liz Villegas

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Liz is a writer and photographer with a love for building and strategy games. Her spare time is often split between lifting, reading, drawing, annoying her dog Mr. Porky Butt, and squinting at stat tables on the wiki pages of whatever game she's currently playing.

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