Bucharest Metro

Bucharest Metro

Infobox Public transit
name=Bucharest Metro
locale=Bucharest, Romania
transit_type=Rapid transit
system_length=km to mi|62.2|abbr=yes|precision=1
began_operation=November 1979
ridership=750,000 ro icon [http://www.sfin.ro/articol_8634/transferul_metrorex_la_primaria_capitalei_a_incins_spiritele.html "Transferul Metrorex la Primăria Capitalei a încins spiritele"] , Săptămâna Financiară, 23 April 2007]
track_gauge=RailGauge|sg (standard gauge)

The Bucharest Metro ("Metroul Bucureşti" in Romanian) is an underground urban railway network that serves the capital of Romania, Bucharest. The network is run by Metrorex. It is one of the most accessed systems of the Bucharest public transport network with an average ridership of 750,000 passengers during the workweek. In total, the network is 63 km long and has 45 stations.


The earliest plans for a Bucharest Metro were drafted in the late 1930s, alongside the general plans for urban modernization of the city.Fact|date=October 2007 In 1938, the local authorities assigned the task of planning and constructing the subway system to "S.A. Metropolitanul", with work scheduled to start in March 1941.Fact|date=October 2007 The outbreak of World War II, followed by periods of political tensions culminating with the installation of communism, put an end to the plans.

By 1970, the public transport system (ITB) was no longer adequate due to the fast pace of urban development, although the system was the fourth-largest in Europe. A commission was set up, and its conclusion pointed to the necessity of an underground transit system that would become the Bucharest Metro. The system is regarded as perhaps the onlyFact|date=October 2007 largely successful result of Communist policies towards the planning of Bucharest. Amidst the disastrous systematization and unnecessary construction projects such as Casa Poporului (Palace of the Parliament), this was one of the few projects that really improved the living standards of the residents.Fact|date=October 2007

The network was not built in the same style as other Eastern European systems. Firstly, the design of the stations on the initial lines was simple, clean cut modern designs, without excessive additions such as mosaics, awkward lighting sources or excessive decoration. The main function of the stations was speed of transit and modernity. Secondly, the trainsets themselves were all constructed in Romania and did not follow the Eastern European style of construction. Each station usually followed a colour theme (generally white - in Unirii 2, Universitate, Victoriei 1, Politehnica, Armata Poporului; but also light blue - in Obor and Gara de Nord; orange - in Tineretului), and an open plan. No station was made to look exactly like any other. Despite this, many stations are rather dark, due to the policies of energy economy in the late 1980s; later modernisations doing little to fix this problem. Bucharest being one of the largest cities in the region, it has a quite large network (larger than Prague, Amsterdam or Budapest). When the planned new line-extensions will be finished, it will increase to more than 100 km (with about 80 stations).

The first line, M1, opened on November 16, 1979, running from Timpuri Noi to Semănătoarea. It was 6.2 km long with 6 stations. Following this, more lines were opened:

*December 1981: M1/M3 Timpuri Noi - Republica; 10.1 km, 6 stations
*August 1983: M3 Branch line Eroilor - Industriilor; 8.63 km, 5 stations, Gorjului station added in 1991
*December 1984: M1 Semănătoarea - Crângaşi; 0.97 km, 1 station
*January 1986: M2 Piaţa Unirii - Depoul IMGB; 9.96 km, 8 stations
*October 1987: M2 Piaţa Unirii - Pipera; 8.72 km, 6 stations
*December 1987: M1 Crângaşi - Gara de Nord 1; 2.83 km, 2 stations (Basarab added 1990)
*August 1989: M1 Gara de Nord 1 - Dristor 2; 7.8 km, 6 stations
*January 1990: M1/M3 Republica - Pantelimon; 1.43 km, 1 station (single track, operational on a special schedule)
*March 2000: M4 Gara de Nord 2 - 1 Mai; 3.6 km, 4 stations

Large stations which connect with other lines (such as Victoriei) have two terminals, and each terminal goes by a different name (Victoriei 1 and Victoriei 2). On the official network map, they are shown as two stations with a connection in between, even though, in practice (and in trip planners), they are really only one station with platforms at different levels. There is one exception: Gara de Nord 1 and Gara de Nord 2 are separate stations (although linked through a subterranean passage, the traveller is required to exit the station proper and pay for a new fare at the other station, thus leaving the system), passengers being required to switch trains at Basarab.

Generally, the underground stations feature large interiors. The largest one, Piata Unirii, is cathedral-like, with vast interior spaces, hosting outlet stores and fast-food restaurants and has an intricate network of underground corridors and passage ways.


Metrorex is the Romanian company which runs the Bucharest Metro. Metrorex is due to be merged with Bucharest's surface transport operator, RATB, to form the Bucharest Metropolitan Transport Corporation from mid-2007.


As of 2008, the entire network runs underground, except the depot IMGB, on the southern end of M2 line.

Rolling stock

The system uses two kinds of trainsets:

*252 ASTRA Arad modular cars, in a B'B'-B'B' formation, built between 1978 and 1993 are currently being phased out.
*44 Bombardier Movia BM2 and BM21 trainsets (2'2'+Bo'Bo'+Bo'Bo'+Bo'Bo'+Bo'Bo'+2'2'), built in 2002-2008

The trains used on the system are made up of various trainsets ("rame") connected together. Each trainset is made up of two permanently-connected train-cars that can only be run together. On lines M1 and M3, three trainsets (totalling six cars) are connected together, with a length of up to 120 metres, while in line M4, two trainsets run together (totalling four cars). M2 only uses Bombardier Trains. The ASTRA Arad rolling stock was built between 1977 and 1993, and is approaching the end of its service life, so it is currently being either refurbished or phased out. The Bombardier trains are made up of six permanently connected cars, forming an open corridor for the entire length of the train. Currently there are 252 ASTRA trainsets, 181 in current use, others being kept as reserve, making for about 60 trains, 30 to 50 of which are operated daily. There are also 44 Bombardier trains, all in daily service, out of which 26 on Line M2. The rest of these trainsets were received in 2006 and 2007 and placed in service on Lines M1 and M3.

The new trainsets (Bombardier-made) were given a distinct name (alongside a number) for identification. The names used on M2 are flower names whereas for M1/M3 EU member states' capital city names were chosen. The numbers are four figures long and seem to follow this format:
* First figure: 1 or 2; one half (end) of the train gets 1, the other gets 2. This has nothing to do with the direction of travel: some trains are moving in the "1" direction, while others travel in reverse.
* Second figure: 0 or 1; 0 means "M2" (or first batch of trains from Bombardier) while 1 means "M1/M3" (or the second one).
* Third and fourth figure: serial number of train, increases for each new trainset.

The naming (and numbering) goes as follows:
* For trains used on M2:
** 1001 & 2001: Dalia (the Dahlia)
** 1002 & 2002: Narcisa (the Daffodil)
** 1003 & 2003: Camelia (the Camellia)
** 1004 & 2004: Zambila (the Hyacinth)
** 1005 & 2005: Violeta (the Violet)
** 1006 & 2006: Margareta (the Oxeye daisy)
** 1007 & 2007: Bujorul (the Peony)
** 1008 & 2008: Crizantema (the "Chrysanthemum indicum")
** 1009 & 2009: Craiţa (the Marigold)
** 1010 & 2010: Crinul (the Madonna lily)
** 1011 & 2011: Iasomia (the Jasmine)
** 1012 & 2012: Frezia (the Freesia)
** 1013 & 2013: Irisul (the German iris)
** 1014 & 2014: Nufărul (the Water lily)
** 1015 & 2015: Nalba (the Marshmallow)
** 1016 & 2016: Magnolia (the Magnolia)
** 1017 & 2017: Liliacul (the Lilac)
** 1018 & 2018: Gladiola (the Gladiolus)
* And for trains used on M1/M3:
** 1101 & 2101: Europa (Europe)
** 1102 & 2102: Bucureşti (Bucharest)
** 1103 & 2103: Stockholm
** 1104 & 2104: Berlin
** 1105 & 2105: Londra (London)
** 1106 & 2106: Paris
** 1107 & 2107: Roma (Rome)
** 1108 & 2108: Madrid
** 1109 & 2109: Luxemburg (Luxembourg)
** 1110 & 2110: Brussels
** 1111 & 2111: Viena (Vienna)
** 1112 & 2112: Atena (Athens)
** 1113 & 2113: Copenhaga (Copenhagen)
** 1114 & 2114: Budapesta (Budapest)
** 1115 & 2115: Praga (Prague)
** 1116 & 2116: Varşovia (Warsaw)
** 1117 & 2117: Haga (The Hague)
** 1118 & 2118: Helsinki
** 1119 & 2119: Lisabona (Lisbon)
** 1120 & 2120: Bratislava
** 1121 & 2121: Dublin
** 1122 & 2122: Nicosia
** 1123 & 2123: Tallin
** 1124 & 2124: Riga

The subway livery for Bucharest is either white with two yellow or red horizontal stripes below the window for ASTRA trains, or stainless steel with black and white for the Bombardier trains. All trains run on 750 V DC a third rail, or an overhead wire in maintenance areas where a third rail would not be safe. Maximum speed on the system is 80 km/h (50 mph), although plans are to increase it to 100 km/h (60 mph) on M5, a new line currently in planning stage.

ignaling system

The signaling system used is similar to the light signal system used by the Căile Ferate Române (Romanian Railways), this means:
*red: stop
*yellow: next signal is red
*green: next signal is not red

The minimum distance between two trains is 90 seconds.On the M2, the signaling system is now replaced by the ATP-System. The signals between the stations remain completely dark, while the exit signals of the station are showing a red light and the letters ATP. In the next years, this system shall replace the classic signaling system also on the other lines.


Although the Bucharest Metro is, on the whole, an efficient transportation system, there are several common criticisms of the network. One of these is the relatively poor signage and the lack of network maps on the system. Most stations do not have maps that cover the entire network, instead having only panels showing the names of stations on the current line or, in some cases, only showing a selected number of stations from the respective line. Additionally, many stations have poor signage showing correspondence passages and exits. For this reason, it is common to get lost on the system or take the train in the opposite direction. This problem is currently being addressed, with a new system of information booths and network maps being introduced in various stations, starting with Dristor, Piaţa Unirii, Eroilor and Piaţa Victoriei.

Another source of confusion is the audio announcements in stations and trains. In trains, the name of the station is never announced when entering the station. Rather, as the doors close, the next station is announced, as well as the location of the platform on the next station. The standard form for the in-train announcements is "Attention! Doors are closing! Next station is ... with the platform on the "right/left" side" ("Atenţie, se închid uşile! Urmează staţia ... cu peronul pe partea dreaptă/stângă"). However, with the introduction of newer Bombardier trainsets, this issue has been somewhat addressed: most of these trains are fitted with red or orange dot-matrix displays, constantly announcing the next station and the name of the station upon entering.

Other issues are low coverage (sizeable areas of the city don't have any subway access at all and the distance between stations is very large) and large intervals between trains.

Future development

The following extensions are in the process of being built, and will be finished by 2006-2010:

*An extension of Line M4 (opened in 2000 and currently running from Gara de Nord-1 Mai) to be opened from 1 Mai to Laromet via Pajura (3.1 km, 2 stations), in the city's north. The extension is to be completed by 2009-2010 [ [http://www.thediplomat.ro/features_0906_4.htm "Going underground"] , "The Diplomat"] .
*A branch of Line M1/M3 from Nicolae Grigorescu to Linia de Centură (4.7 km, 3 stations) will open by November 2008. [ [http://www.cotidianul.ro/orban_baga_trenul_pe_soseaua_de_centura-41588.html Orban baga trenul pe soseaua de centura - Cotidianul ] ]
*By 2007 Metrorex plans to open 5 new metro stations on M2 and M3 (new locations include Spitalul Colentina on M3, Mărăşeşti on M2)
*Metrorex also plans to extend M1 line from Industriilor to Carrefour Militari (Also a new station named "Preciziei" will be opened on this line)

These extensions will raise the network size to 50 stations with 70.8 km length, making it rather extensive. Metrorex is also planning the following new lines and routes:

*A new line, M5, which will run from Ghencea/Drumul Taberei district via Eroilor and Universitate to Pantelimon, the current terminus of M1. The line will have 19 stations, and will be around 18-19 km in length. It will intersect with all existing lines except M4. Line M5 is currently in its planning stage, with construction expected to begin by 2008 and conclude before 2020. The line is expected to cost €740 million. [ro icon [http://www.evz.ro/article.php?artid=270078 "Ghencea-Pantelimon, noua magistrală subterană"] ("Ghencea-Pantelimon, the new underground line"), "Evenimentul Zilei", 28 August 2006]

*A new M4 branch serving the two main airports of Bucharest: Henri Coandă International Airport and Aurel Vlaicu International Airport. Henri Coandă, the country's largest airport, is currently served only by bus, while Aurel Vlaicu is also served by trams. The metro extension will be very convenient because both airports are located north of the city and hence a single metro extension could serve both of them, making transfer between the two airports very easy. This line would also serve the Piaţa Presei Libere, Pajura, Băneasa areas, as well as some northern Bucharest suburbs. Works are scheduled to start in 2007 and be complete in seven years. The cost of the line, which will have a length of 13.9 km and 14 stations, would be around €1 billion. [ro icon [http://www.zf.ro/articol_85809/un_miliard_de_euro_pentru_metroul_gara_de_nord_otopeni.html "Un miliard de euro pentru metroul Gara de Nord-Otopeni"] , Ziarul Financiar, 12 June 2006,]


Public transport in Bucharest is heavily subsidized, and the subsidies will increase, as the City Council wants to reduce traffic jams, pollution and parking problems and promote public transport. Like the RATB, the metro can get crowded during morning and afternoon rush hours. The network uses metro cards, that are not valid for use on trams, buses or trolleys (that use stampable/punchable tickets). Riders must buy a ticket for every ground vehicle they use (RATB ticket - 1 trip - 1.3 new leu = €0.36). From July 2006, the public transport in Bucharest was to be coordinated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority - however, this was postponed until 2007. The ticketing systems for ground and subway transportation are currently being unified, with a new RFID card system being deployed across the network. Currently, the unified system is available for monthly passes, and trip cards, with the old cards slated to be discontinued.

Prices (as of February 2008) [ro icon [http://www.metrorex.ro/index.php?p=5 Prices, at the Metrorex official site] ] :

*2 trip card- 2.2 RON (€ 0.6)
*10 trip card - 8 RON (€ 2.2)
*Monthly pass (full price) - 23 RON (€ 6.33)
*Student monthly pass (only for Romanians) - 11.5 RON (€ 3.17)
*1 day card - 4 RON (€ 1.1)
*Free for senior citizens over 70 years of age


ee also

*List of Bucharest metro stations
*Transport in Bucharest
*Rapid transit
*List of rapid transit systems

External links

* [http://www.metrorex.ro Official Metrorex site]
* [http://www.urbanrail.net/eu/buc/bucurest.htm UrbanRail Europe/Bucharest]
* [http://metros.hu/terkep/k/bucharest.html Map of future lines]
* [http://www.ess.ro/images/metrou.jpgBucharest Metro, practical map]

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