Stockholm Crowdsources Color of New Subway Line

Stockholm Crowdsources Color of New Subway Line

Over three-thousand people have taken part in the online contest so far

Vashti Hallissey
  • 31 july 2014

Stockholm residents are getting the chance to dictate the color of their commute with an online competition created by the city’s county council. The Swedish capital is expanding its subway system and the contest offers people the chance to have a say into how the new line looks.

The contest is part of a 25.7 billion kronor ($3.9 billion) investment in subway vehicles, locations and depots. It’s the largest expansion of the system in modern times and it will include nearly two million new tracks and nine new stations.

Christer Wennerholm, public transport commissioner at the Stockholm County council, is quoted in The Local:

We try to engage travellers in many different contexts. They always have a tonne of views, often about things we can do better. This constructive approach is exactly what SL needs in order to improve.

The current subway lines are blue, red and green and residents can vote online for the color of the new line, which will span from Odenplan to Arenastaden. The contest website changes color as you move your cursor across the screen, you click on the color you want to vote for and then give a reason for your choice along with your email address. Perhaps you fancy a lime green line to wake you up in the mornings or you would prefer to mellow in yellow.


Over three thousand people have voted so far, with yellow, brown, turquoise, pink and purple coming out as the most popular colors so far. The competition closes on 11th August and the most popular three with the most interesing justifications will be submitted to another vote. The person who submits the best reason for the winning colour will win a free one-year metro pass.

The subway expansion aims to ease downtown traffic and to further connect the green and blue lines. It is scheduled to begin in 2016 and will also change the colors of the current subway lines, the green line to Hagsätra will become blue and the current blue line will become a lighter shade.

This expansion aims to adapt the city to a rapidly growing population, which is expanding by 35,000 people per year. The four leaders of the center-right Alliance also want to build 78,000 apartments in Stockholm to deal with the city’s housing shortage, according to an opinion piece in newspaper, Dagens Nyheter.

The winner of the competition will have to wait a while to see the subway line painted in their favourite colour, it is not scheduled for completion until 2022.

The Stockholm City Council’s competition is a democratic way to invite city dwellers to have a say in their subway system. If only they could introduce a few more passenger ideas to improve train travel, like a time machine to fast-forward commutes and free ice cream in the summer to help people cool down.

The contest

Images: Chris Chabot/Flickr

[h/t] City Lab, The Local

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