In October 2018, a makeover for the Auditorio Station of the Mexico City Collective Transportation System (STC, but best-known as “El Metro”) was unveiled. The station was transformed into a little sliver of the London Underground as part of a campaign to promote the United Kingdom as a tourist destination and celebrate the country’s relationship with Mexico.
As part of the redesign, which is intended to be permanent, some of the station’s walls were remodeled to make them look like the tiled fixtures of an older Tube station. The famous “mind the gap” warning is painted on the floor of the platforms, and several posters highlighting aspects of British culture dot the walls. These posters are dedicated to the filming industry in Northern Ireland, the many famous universities in the country and, of course, British music, to mention a few. The Beatles are so popular in Mexico that during the unveiling of the station’s new look, a cover band was invited to play hits like “Hey Jude” and “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” Both high-ranking Mexican politicians and now former British ambassador, Taylor Duncan, attended the opening event.
Efe de Froy and Carlos “Chuck” Vázquez, two local artists, were commissioned to paint murals in the station. One depicts John Lennon wearing a t-shirt with an image of well-known Huautla native María Sabina, while the other features a tribute to David Bowie. Both join an existing mural that features tens of caricatures of rock icons, including Brits like Freddie Mercury and Ozzy Osbourne. Some of the entrances to the station also feature the iconic red and blue “Underground” round logos. Finally, this station is the only one where you can buy a Mexico City Metro rider card featuring the Union Jack.
A screen allowing real-time communication between commuters of both massive transport systems is intended to be installed as well. Unfortunately, as of August 2019, there do not yet seem to be plans for a reciprocal Mexico-themed station in London’s Underground.
Know Before You Go
While some of the features of the station can be seen without paying for a ticket, the MXN $5 fare is worth the cost to see the rest (and ride the metro). All metro stations close at midnight with the exception of holidays, and they open at 5 a.m. on weekdays, 6 a.m. on Saturdays and 7 a.m. on Sundays. Auditorio station is located about halfway along the western Line 7 (orange) of the Metro.