The Bucharest Metro has 4 commercial lines, one under construction and another in the planning stages. It is well integrated with the city’s bus system and currently provides daily service to over 470 thousand passengers with 53 stations and a total route of 71.5 kilometers (44.4 miles). There is no direct connection to the airport. The basic fare or One Trip Card costs 2.5 Lei (0.62 USD) and there are other payment options and passes for frequent travelers to store money. It operates from Monday to Friday from 5:00 am to 11:00 pm and runs every 3 – 12 minutes.
Bucharest, Romania’s capital, is Europe’s sixth largest city, in terms of total population. According to the latest official census, published by city authorities, it is home to 2.4 million residents.
For a long time, Bucharest was considered “Little Paris” for its elegance and modern buildings, although it would be severely damaged following the First and Second World Wars.
However, the city had experienced strong economic growth over the previous decade and the officials of this major city saw this as an obligation to take a chance on infrastructure. Among their emphasis was the metro.
Bucharest Metro’s inauguration was finalized in the 70s, specifically November 16, 1979, though the first construction blueprints date back to the 30s.
However, these plans were set aside with the outbreak of the Second World War. It was not until 1970, an era marked by the collapse of the city’s public transportation, when the local authorities decided to conduct a study on underground public transportation.
Five years later, in 1975, the officials managing the research concluded that metro construction would be a viable mid-term and long-term option, and construction work was set in motion.
Thirty years later, in 1979, Bucharest Metro opened its doors to what is now 53 stations, 4 lines and a total route of 71.5 kilometers (44.42 miles). There are additional plans to expand the system, with one route already under construction and another one in the planning stages. This will add 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) to the system.
The Bucharest Metro has 4 commercial lines, including one under construction and another one in the planning stages. The entire route is 71.5 kilometers (44.42 miles). The metro connects the city between the four compass points and transports over 470 thousand passengers daily.
Riders in the main neighborhoods of Romania’s capital have metro stations that connect to the city center, making the underground system fundamental to a fully functioning Bucharest.
Line 1 is the oldest line in the Bucharest Metro system with an opening that dates back to 1979. Its route is 31 kilometers (19.3 miles) distributed along 22 stations. The stations are located in the Dristor and Pantelimon neighborhoods in the city center as well as in the area to the east.
Highlighted by the color yellow and the name M1, Line 1 is easily recognizable on system maps. It connects to the other metro routes as well.
Line 2’s railway is 18.7 kilometers (11.6 miles). It connects the Pipera district to the IMGB industrial zone as it passes through several neighborhoods along its route. Line 2 was constructed in 1986 to connect the northern and southern areas of the city and to serve central Bucharest as well.
Due to the neighborhoods that are served, this is the busiest route each year. It can similarly be identified on system maps by its dark blue color and the designation M2.
Constructed in two stages, the first ending in 1983 and the second ending in 2008, Bucharest Metro’s third route extends 22.2 kilometers (13.8 miles) and connects the city from east to west between the Glina and Militari districts respectively.
On system maps, it is characterized by the color red and the M3 designation. It serves over 24 million passengers each year.
Bucharest’s fourth underground line is the smallest in the system with a route of only 7.64 kilometers (4.75 miles) and 8 stations. As the most recent, dating back to the year 2000, it excludes the second stage of Line 3 that was inaugurated in 2008. As the least traveled line, Line 4 transports just a little more than 6 million passengers yearly. It connects Sector 1 neighborhoods to the northwestern part of the city and to the city center.
It is easily distinguishable on maps by the color green and the designation M4.
Planned for 2018, this route will have 22 stations and a length of 16.2 kilometers (10.1 miles). It is identifiable on station maps by the color orange and the designation M5. It will serve the residents of Drumul Taberei as well as people living in surrounding Cotroceni.
Bucharest Metro lines are extremely well connected to one another as well as to the local bus routes that serve the entire city. Riders may choose from the following underground connections:
Line 1 stations, Eroilor, Izvor, Timpuri Noi, Mihai Bravu and Nicolae Grigorescu also serve the Line 3 (M3) train route.
Eroilor, Izvor, Timpuri Noi, Mihai Bravu and Nicolae Grigorescu stations also serve Line 1 (M1) trains.
The payment method for The Bucharest Metro consists of machine dispensed tickets, as well as those sold at the ticket offices found throughout the stations. There is a significant variety of options that properly fit the needs of each rider. Shown below are the available options for metro travel.
From open to close, the Bucharest Metro schedule is the same. Every week, from Monday to Sunday, it opens its doors to the public beginning at 5:00 am and operates nonstop until 11:00 pm.
The train frequency varies according to the time and route on which it runs, ranging from 3 - 12 minutes.
Like subway systems around the world, the Bucharest Metro has a set of rules that riders are required to follow if they wish to use the system. Detailed below are some of the requirements and prohibitions.
Bucharest Metro does not have a direct connection to the Bucarest Henri Coandă International Airport as none of its stations directly reach the terminal area. However, a bus, that does reach the airport directly, can be taken from some of the subway stations. The following are instructions for making this connection.
Primarily, one must take Line 1 (M1) in the direction of either the Piața Victoriei or, alternatively, Gara de Nord Station. Bus lines going to the airport can be found at both stations. Wait for bus line 783 or 780, both of which frequently circulate the two station stops. Board the appropriate bus and enjoy the trip to the Bucarest-Henri Coandă International Airport. It lasts less than an hour.
However, if the objective is to travel to the city from the airport, the steps are not too different. Various bus stops are found outside the terminal area. One can select bus route 783 or 780 from here, get off at the Piața Victoriei or the Gara de Nord stops or simply remain on the bus to reach another part of the city. There is also sure to be taxi stands and car rental companies in the areas surrounding the airport. The latter is always safer though it is costly as well.
Bucharest Metro’s Line 5 is the next major project that will soon be inaugurated. If everything goes as expected, the opening will be at the end of 2018. It is identifiable by the color orange on system maps as well as the number M5. It will serve the Cartierul Ghencea and Gării Cățelu areas, traveling to 22 stations distributed along 16.2 kilometers (10.1 miles).
Line 6 is another project in the planning stages. It is identified on maps by its lilac color and the number M6. As part of an administrative program to facilitate tourist access, it will also serve Gara de Nord residents and connect Bucharest’s city center to the Bucarest-Henri Coandă International Airport. According to projections, it will open its doors in 2022, with a length that extends 14.2 kilometers (8.8 miles), divided along 12 stations.
At Izvor Station, which serves train lines 1 (M1) and 3 (M3), one will find the extremely well-known Palace of the Parliament. An architectural jewel by architect Anca Petrescu and inaugurated in 1997, this is the legislative headquarters. Although visits are restricted to a set schedule and identification must be presented to enter, it is a must see stop when visiting Bucharest. It is very commanding at 80 meters high (262 feet tall), in contrast to it also being 92 meters deep (302 feet underground). This is not even to mention the beautiful surrounding spaces from which magnificent postcards can be obtained.
Another necessary stop, when visiting Bucharest, is the Romanian Athenaeum, located about 4 blocks from Piaţa Romană station on line 2 (M2). It is a major city building where concerts and unforgettable philharmonic presentations take place. It dates back to 1888 though it was reconditioned in 1992. Also, in the vicinity are lovely flower gardens; ideal for relaxing one’s mind, reading a book or taking photographs. Inside, the ceilings, walls and floors are a scene within themselves as they surround visitors with the luxury of the 19th century. Undoubtedly, visiting this space is worth the effort.
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