Tbilisi Metro

Infobox Public transit
name = Tbilisi Metro


imagesize =
locale = Tbilisi
transit_type = Rapid transit
began_operation = 1966
ended_operation =
system_length = km to mi|26.4|abbr=yes|precision=1
lines = 2
vehicles =
stations = 22
ridership =
track_gauge =
reporting marks =
operator =
owner =

The Tbilisi Metro ( _ka. თბილისის მეტროპოლიტენი, "Tbilisis Metropoliteni"; in the Soviet times also _ru. Тбилисское Метро) is a rapid transit Metro system in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. Opened in 1966 it became the fourth Metro system in the former Soviet Union. Like most ex-Soviet Metros, most of the stations are very deep and vividly decorated.

Lines and stations

Operation

Presently the system consists of two lines, 22 stations on 26.4 kilometres of track. 20 stations are below ground and two are surface level. Of the subterranean stations 16 are deep level and 4 shallow. The former comprise 6 pylon stations, 5 column and 5 single vaults (built to the Leningrad Technology). The shallow stations consist of three pillar-trispans and one single vault (Kharkov Technology). Due to Tbilisi's uneven landscape, the metro, particularly the Gldani-Varketili line, in two cases goes above ground.

In 2005 it was estimated that a total of 105.6 million people used the Metro annually [ [http://www.statistics.ge/index_eng.htm State Department of Statistics of Georgia] ] . Carrying them are a fleet of 186 metro cars from two depots. Although the platforms are accommodated for five-carriage trains currently four and three carriage trains are used on lines 1 and 2 respectively. The car models are identical to those of other ex-Soviet Metros. The cost per token is 40 tetris, and remains valid for the whole duration. Trains run from 6:00 a.m. till 1:00 a.m. with intervals ranging between 4 minutes and 2.5 during peak times. Trains run between 60 km/h - 90 km/h.

History

Tbilisi (officially known as Tiflis until 1936), capital of Georgia, was always considered to be the fourth most important city of the Soviet Union, particularly of its political position as being the capital of the republic (Georgian SSR). Also the city grew quite rapidly during the nineteenth and twentieth century and apart from being a cultural centre and a political one was also an important transport hub in Transcaucasia and an industrial centre as well. All this amounted to the need of a rapid transit Metro system.

Construction began in 1952, and on 11 January, 1966, the Tbilisi Metro was triumphantly opened becoming the first and only Metro system in Georgia and the fourth one in the former Soviet Union (after Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Kiev), when the first six stations were opened. Since then the system has steadily grown to a two line 22 station network.

During the 1990s, most of the Soviet-era station names were changed, although the financial difficulties since the breakup of the Soviet Union hit the Metro particularly hard in its infrastructure, operations and extensions. Until recently, the Metro had been underfund and operated in severe difficulties due to poor electrical supply. It had also become infamous for widespread petty crime, like pickpocketing and mugging. In addition, there have been several incidents at metro stations in recent years. On October 9, 1997, a former policeman blew himself up at Didube station. On February 14, 2000, a teenager threw a homemade hand grenade into a metro station, injuring several people. In March 2004, several people were poisoned by an unidentified gas while using the Metro.

However, the crime has reduced as a result of security and administration reforms in the system from 2004 to 2005. Other services have also significantly improved.

Currently, the Tbilisi Metro system is undergoing a major rehabilitation process including the reconstruction of the stations as well as modernization of trains and other facilities. The city's 2006 budget allocated 16 million lari for this project. President of Georgia, Mikhail Saakashvili, promised to make the Metro most prestigious public transport and charged Director General of Tbilisi Metro, Zurab Kikalishvili, in late 2005, to bring the metro to European standards by 2007 [ [http://eng.primenewsonline.com/?c=124&a=3647 Primes News agency] ]

Future

The system has also an advanced extension plan, with a third line, amongst other locations, encompass the district of Vake. Forming a typical Soviet triangle with three-line six radii layout intersecting in the city centre. However, most of the construction sites remain frozen, some dating to the Soviet times.

ee also

*List of Tbilisi metro stations
*List of rapid transit systems

Notes

External links

*ge icon [http://www.metro.ge/ Metro Web-site]
*en icon [http://www.urbanrail.net/as/tbil/tbilisi.htm Tbilisi Metro on Urbanrail.net]
*de icon/ru icon [http://www.metrosoyuza.net/ Metrosoyuza]
*ru icon [http://metroworld.ruz.net/others/tbilisi.htm Metroworld]


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