The Sofia metro is the only metro in Bulgaria.
It was put into operation on January 28, 1998.
Currently, it consists of 4 interconnected lines, with a total length of 52 km and 47 stations.
This gives it 19th place among the top 20 most extensive European metro systems in 2020.
The Sofia metro is a national object, its construction was financed from the budget of Sofia Municipality, the National budget and European funds.
Its construction is related to the need for efficient public transport to meet the needs of the increasing population of the capital.
Planned since the 1960s, the construction of the Sofia Metro began in the 1980s (March 6, 1978) with the demolition of a significant number of buildings.
In the early 1990s, it stopped for a while due to a lack of funds and the complication of construction works, also related to the discovery of ancient archaeological remains during excavations. Sofia is one of the oldest cities in Europe, with a rich history and many Thracian and Roman ruins can be found in the center and parts - such as those that can be seen near the Serdika metro station.
According to the initial project, the construction of 3 metro diameters with a total length of 62 km was foreseen and 63 stations with an average distance between them of 1000 meters.
The municipal company "Metropolitan" EAD is responsible for the financing, construction and operation of the Sofia Metro.
The Sofia Metro connects the densely populated districts of the capital (Lyulin - Mladost, Nadezhda - Lozenets, Hadji Dimitar - Ovcha Kupel) and serves Sofia Airport.
There are 4 main lines:
M1 (red) - opened on January 28, 1998. with a length of 14.8 km. and 16 stations
M2 (blue) - opened on August 31, 2012. with a length of 11.4 km. and 13 stations
M3 (green) - opened on August 26, 2020. with a length of 11.8 km. and 12 stations (under construction - another 3 km of track and 3 stations)
M4 (yellow) - opened on April 2, 2015. with a length of 15 km. and 20 stations
• The Sofia Metro uses 3 types of rolling stock.
The older trainsets are type 81-717.4/714.4, manufactured by the Russian company Metrovagonmash in Mytishti, Moscow region. 48 wagons were delivered, composed in 12 trains of 4 wagons each. The carriages are white, with red and green livery. They were manufactured in 1990 and entered into operation in 1998 with the opening of the first section of the metro.
In 2019 and 2020 are modernized.
The second generation train sets are type 81-740.2/741.2 "Rusich" and are also produced by Metrovagonmash. In the period of 2005 - 2013, 120 wagons composed in 40 trains were delivered and put into operation.
The third generation of train sets is the Siemens Inspiro type. 90 wagons, composed in 30 trains, were delivered in the period of 2016 - 2021. The trains are overhead powered and serve line M3 (green).
In 2026 the delivery of 8 four-car air-conditioned trains from Škoda Transportation intended for lines M1, M2 and M4 is expected.
The storage and maintenance of the rolling stock of the Sofia Metro takes place in 2 depots - the "Obelya" depot (lines M1, M2 and M4) and the "Zemlyane" depot (line M3).
• The price of a single ticket is BGN 1.60 (0.82EUR).
It can be purchased at the ticket office or from machines at the entrance of each station.
Prepaid cards are also available, as well as daily and monthly cards.
The construction of the Sofia metro is the cheapest in Europe (about 30-38 million euros for 1 km).
The average distance between stations of the 1st metrodiameter is 1100 meters.
The length of the platforms at the stations of the 1st metro radius is 120 meters, and at the 2nd metro radius - 102 meters.
The average distance between stations of the 2nd metrodiameter is 912 meters.
The length of the platforms is 104 meters.
Shorter platforms necessitate the use of shorter trains - 80 meters instead of the standard 120 meters. The trains on line M3 are 60 meters long.
More than 150 escalators and 150 elevators help to move passengers in the Sofia Metro.
The maximum speed of movement is 80 km/h, and the average - 39 km/h.
The maximum capacity is 50 thousand passengers per hour in one direction.
The minimum interval between trains is 90 seconds.
The gap is standard - 1435 mm.
The trains are powered by direct current with a voltage of 825 volts, through a third (contact) rail on lines M1, M2 and M4 and 1500 volts through a pantograph on line M3.
The name of the station at Interpred was originally adopted with a spelling error - Julio Curie instead of Joliot Curie.
After prolonged disputes in 2011 the transportation of bicycles is permitted in the Sofia metro, but with certain restrictions (after 9 p.m. on weekdays, all day on weekends). It is paid with a single ticket.
In 1998 The Sofia metro was used by 10,000 people per day, with 5 stations operating, in 2023. this amount is about 340 thousand people per day, with 47 working stations.
The putting into operation of the Sofia Metro leads to the closure of several tram and bus routes, an increase in the intervals of vehicle movement, as well as to the reduction of investments in ground urban transport.