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Metropolitan is owned by Sofia Municipality and serves rapid rail transport – the metro in Sofia. Its main purpose is to provide quick and safe transport for passengers.
Its activity is oriented to investors’ control over design and construction and maintenance of sections put into operation.
Metropolitan PLC has introduced and applies into practice a system of quality management. Its scope includes operation of Sofia Metropolitan and investment activities /organizing research, design, construction, and investment control over the new metro sections/, complying with the requirements of ISO 9001: 2000 – certificate, registration number 75 100 40118, issued by TUV Rheinland Inter Cert Kft., initial certification – 2004 – 11- 30.

Metro construction is based on a Technical and economic report, ratified by Council of Ministers and more than 10 other Resolutions and Decrees of Council of Ministers and National Assembly of Bulgaria, as well as a number of resolutions of other ministries and Sofia Municipal Council. For the realization of the plan, with a special decree of the Council of Ministers, Metropolitan has been established as a company for investment activities in design and construction as well as operation of sections, put into operation.
In 1999 the company was transformed into a municipal joint –stock company Metropolitan JSC, registered in Sofia Municipal Court and scope of activities “Operation of constructed sections and Investment control of metro construction in Sofia”. The company is managed by a Board of Directors and a Chief Executive, elected by the members of the Board.

The capital of Bulgaria, Sofia, is one of the ancient cities in Europe with a rich history. Cultural heritage of the city dates back to Thracian times, long BC, the Romans at the beginning of the new chronology, the Slavs and the proto-Bulgarians, passes through Renaissance and modern civilization, reaching contemporary civilization. The last century was characterized by a rapid development of the city. During the second half of the last century when its population is about 500 thousand inhabitants, development of the suburbs began. In the 70-ties to the 90-ties, big residential districts were built, some of them with more than 100 000 inhabitants. As a result, in the nineties the population of the capital exceeded 1,2 million inhabitants.
The last 15-20 years, when the existed up to the nineties migration restrictions were eliminated, are characterized by a new phase of intensive construction and development of the city. Contemporary micro residential closed areas, modern office buildings and business complexes were built. The already existed residential districts are totally built-up, complexes of detached houses and individual buildings are under construction in suburban areas.
According to statistics data from the last two decades, 25-35% of the gross domestic product is been formed in the city. More than 50-60% of the foreign investments are invested in the city. The number of jobs grew at an average with more than 20-25 thousand per year, about 8-10 thousand homes a year, and registered cars 40-50 thousand a year, and according to data from transport police their number reaches about 1 million. The number of students exceeds 80 thousand, 2/3 of them come from other regions. Every day about 70-80 thousand people from the vicinities come to work and more than 80 thousand cars arrive from other locations.
As a result of the above-mentioned, and due to the significant migration of the population in the last 15-20 years, together with temporary residents and those living unregistered in the city, the number of inhabitants of the capital exceeds 1,8 million, according to unofficial data.
The enlarging of the territory and growing of the population number is carried out in the presence of historically formed roads in the central part of the town, dominated by narrow streets or boulevards with an exhausted traffic capacity and limited extension options. The construction of new boulevards with ring connections, out of the so-called broad centre is limited and does not correspond to the growing rate of the citizens’ number and the traffic in the city. Due to the limited traffic capacity of the street network and the increased intensity of the daily traffic, big traffic jams on major transport routes are a trivial round, leading to very low traffic speed in peak hours, which is only 10 km/h with the public transport.

Общ изглед от историческия център на СофияNational Assembly of Bulgaria

General view of Sofia's historical center

General view of NPC /National Palace of Culture/

Traffic in Sofia in rush hour - in the NPC area

Due to the increased number of population, every day from the periphery to the centre and backwards, big passenger flows are being formed. The necessity of efficient public transport in the direction of the largest passenger flows, transport and environmental problems of the city have imposed the start of the construction of the metropolitan in Sofia. Following the ratified by the Council of Ministers of Bulgaria a Technical and economic report on metro and the approved General City Plan, the General scheme for the development of the lines should consist of three diameters with extensions in the periphery, with total length of 65 km, 63 metro stations, and 1,2 million daily passenger capacity at the final stage of implementation.

 General scheme for the development of the metro lines according to the General City Plan of Sofia

The first diameter “Obelya RD – Lyulin RD – Centre – Mladost RD – Druzhba RD – Sofia Airport” will be 29 km long and it will consist of 23 metro stations.
The second diameter “Lozenets RD – Centre-Ilientsi quarter” will be 17 km long and will consist of 17 metro stations. The third diameter “Knyazhevo quarter– Centre - Poduyane RD - V. Levski RD” will be 19 km long and will consist of 23 metro stations.
The diameters intersect into a triangle in the city, thus each section of the metro route could be reached within one single change of the line.
Main technical characteristics of the metropolitan, according to the Technical- economic report are: average distance between the stations - 1100 m, operational speed of the rolling stock - 90 km/h, maximum carriage capacity - 50 thousand passengers per hour in one direction, minimum permissible interval between the trains - 90 sec., 1435 mm rail gauge, power supply of the rolling stock with a nominal DC voltage of 825 volts through a contact rail.


Main parameters of the Metro in Sofia and the general scheme for the development of its lines, according to the Technical-economic report:
Number of lines/diameters/ - 3 /some of the lines branching in the suburbs/
Total length of the lines - 65 кm with 63 metro stations, including:
- Line 1/Lyulin RD-Mladost RD/ - 29 кm, 23 stations
- Line 2 /Nadezhda RD-Lozenets RD/ - 17 кm, 17 stations
- Knyazhevo quarterCity- Levski quarter/ - 19 кm,  23 stations
Average distance between the stations - 1000 m.
Carriage capacity - 50 thousand passengers per hour
Operational speed - 90 кm/h
Rail gauge - 1435 mm
Power supply- DC through a contact rail - 825 V
Minimum movement interval - 90 sеc.
Passengers carried per day - 1.2 million passengers/day
Share in the Public transport system - 68 %
Average distance between the stations - 1000 м.

Metro construction started with the busiest first metro diameter, where the biggest passenger flows are being formed and with prognosticated maximum values of up to 38 thousand people in peak hours.

Оn Jan 28th1998 the first lot of the first diameter was put into operation with 5 metro stations, and length of 6,5 km from Slivnitsa blvd., passing through Lyulin RD to K. Velichkov blvd. On Sept. 17th 1999 Serdika metro station was put into operation and the total length of the route of the first metro radius is 8,1 km with 7 metro stations. On Apr. 20th 2003 the section under operation was connected with Obelya RD by a new section, 1,8 km long. Thus, the total length of the first metro radius from Obelya through Lyulin to Sv. Nedelya sq. came up to 10 km with 8 metro stations, and the number of passengers increased from 30 thousand to 80 thousand a day.

The design and the construction of the first metro radius is implemented by Bulgarian companies only. The equipment of the basic control and operation systems is produced mainly by leading world companies such as Siemens, Ericsson, Elin, Alcatel, Otis, Kapsch, etc. Bulgarian companies implemented dispatch operation system with imported parts, Bulgarian software only. The trains are Russian, and railway automatics, corresponding to the train equipment is implemented by Bulgarian companies as well.

From 2005 to 2009 the main part of the eastern radius of the first metro diameter from Sveta Nedelya sq. to Mladost 1 RD has been constructed stage by stage, 8 km long with 6 metro stations. On May 8th 2009 “Mladost 1 RD- Vasil Levski Stadium” lot was put into operation. The main part of this 2 km long route with 1 metro station /Sofia University Sv. Kliment Ohridski/was put into operation in September 2009.

In 2008 a Short- term Schedule for the development of the metropolitan till 2015 was worked out on the basis of the General City Plan. In order to implement this program, the construction of the second metro diameter started in 2009 stage by stage. Its main part is included in OP Transport for financing from the European fund for regional development with local co-financing. In 2009 – 2010 starts the construction of the succeeding two lots from metro extension, funded by a loan from European Investment bank and local co-financing.

Following the Short-term program, by 2013 the main parts of the two metro lines of the busiest areas should be implemented, with total length of 31 km and 27 metro stations. Its share in the Public transport system should come up over 35%. It is envisaged implementation of branches of these lines in the suburbs by 2015 in order to cover the most of the residential districts, as well as beginning of the construction of the third line.  

Architectural design of the metro stations in the cities with metropolitans are imposed as basic elements of the urban environment. They represent the most memorable parts of the me

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