The extension takes the line into the city centre and provides an interchange with Line 2, the Passante cross-city line and main line services at Garibaldi. The original section connects with Line 3 at Zara. The final 7.2km section of Line 5 from Garibaldi west to San Siro is due to open next year.

Line 5 has a capacity of 10,720 passengers/hour/direction and is the first line in Milan to be fully automatic and operated without drivers. Line 5 is equipped with a communications-based train control system supplied by Ansaldo STS which enables service frequency to be adapted at short notice to meet demand. Stations platforms are 50m long and fitted with platform screen doors.