Bucharest Metro

Last updated

Bucharest Metro
Metrorex logo.svg
Trains at Piata Victoriei.jpg
Metro trains at Piata Victoriei
Native nameMetroul București
Locale Bucharest, Romania
Transit type Rapid transit
Number of lines4 [1]
(1 under construction,
1 planned)
Number of stations 53 [1]
(10 under construction,
24 planned) [2]
Daily ridership720,000 weekday passengers (2017) [3]
Annual ridership178,850,000 passengers (2017) [4]
Began operation16 November 1979 [5]
Operator(s) Metrorex
Number of vehicles498 cars
Train length6 car trains
System length71.35 km (44.3 mi) [1]
7.2 km (4.5 mi) under construction
Track gauge 1,432 mm (4 ft 8 38 in) [1]
Electrification Third rail 750 V DC
Top speed85 km/h (53 mph)

The Bucharest Metro (Romanian : Metroul București) is an underground rapid transit system that serves Bucharest, the capital of Romania. It first opened for service on 19 November 1979. [5] The network is run by Metrorex. One of two parts of the larger Bucharest public transport network, Metrorex has an average of approximately 720,000 passenger trips per weekday, [3] compared to the 1,180,000 daily riders on Bucharest's STB transit system. [6] In total, the Metrorex system is 71.35 kilometres (44.3 mi) long and has 47 stations. [1]

Romanian language Romance language

Romanian is a Balkan Romance language spoken by approximately 24–26 million people as a native language, primarily in Romania and Moldova, and by another 4 million people as a second language. It is an official and national language of each of Romania and Moldova. In addition, it is also one of the official languages of the European Union.

Rapid transit passenger rail system in an urban area

Rapid transit or mass rapid transit (MRT), also known as heavy rail, metro, subway, tube, U-Bahn or underground, is a type of high-capacity public transport generally found in urban areas. Unlike buses or trams, rapid transit systems are electric railways that operate on an exclusive right-of-way, which cannot be accessed by pedestrians or other vehicles of any sort, and which is often grade separated in tunnels or on elevated railways.

Bucharest Capital of Romania

Bucharest is the capital and largest city of Romania, as well as its cultural, industrial, and financial centre. It is located in the southeast of the country, at 44°25′57″N26°06′14″E, on the banks of the Dâmbovița River, less than 60 km (37.3 mi) north of the Danube River and the Bulgarian border.


Titan metro station on M1 Line Statia Metrou Titan.jpg
Titan metro station on M1 Line
Grozavesti metro station Statie Metrou - Grozavesti.jpg
Grozăvești metro station

The first proposals for a metro system in Bucharest were made in the early part of the 20th century, by the Romanian engineers Dimitrie Leonida and Elie Radu. [7]

Elie Radu was a distinguished Romanian artisan and civil engineer.

The earliest plans for a Bucharest Metro were drafted in the late 1930s, alongside the general plans for urban modernization of the city. [8] The outbreak of World War II, followed by periods of political tensions culminating with the installation of communism, put an end to the plans. [9]

World War II 1939–1945, between Axis and Allies

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from more than 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 70 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

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 plan for the first line was approved on 25 November 1974 as part of the next five-year plan and the construction on the new metro system started on 20 September 1975. [10]

The network was not built in the same style as other Eastern European systems. [7] Firstly, the design of the stations on the initial lines was simple, clean-cut modern, without excessive additions such as mosaics, awkward lighting sources or excessive decoration. The main function of the stations was speed of transit and practicality. Secondly, the trainsets themselves were all constructed in Romania and did not follow the Eastern European style of construction. [11] Each station usually followed a colour theme (generally white – in Unirii 2, Victoriei 1, Lujerului; but also light blue – in Obor, Universitate, and Gara de Nord; orange – in Tineretului; green - in Grozăvești), 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, with later modernisations doing little to fix this problem. Bucharest being one of the largest cities in the region, the network is larger than those of Prague or Budapest. When the planned new line-extensions are finished, they will increase the system length to more than 100 km, with about 80 stations.

Piața Unirii metro station metro station in Bucharest, Romania

Piața Unirii is a major metro station in Bucharest. It is located in the southern part of the city centre, in Unirii Square and it is one of the busiest stations of the Bucharest Metro. It is made up of two terminals, one on the M1 and M3 lines and another on the M2 line, linked by a passage.

Piața Victoriei metro station metro station in Bucharest, Romania

Piaţa Victoriei is a metro station in Piaţa Victoriei, central Bucharest. It is near the Victoria Palace, the headquarters of the Romanian government. This station consists of two stations and, along with Piaţa Unirii is one of the busiest metro stations in Bucharest. It was the setting for many parts of the documentary Children Underground.

Obor metro station metro station in Bucharest, Romania

Obor is a metro station in Bucharest, located next to one of the largest open-air markets in Bucharest, Obor. The station was closed for over 10 months, until May 25, 2008, for refurbishment and in order to facilitate the building of a new overground passage for the tram above ground. This station is painted in blue, with pillars separating the two parts of the station. It is currently served by the M1 line. Connections with RATB services are 1, 21, 46 (trams), 330 and 335 (buses).

The first line, M1, opened on 19 November 1979, running from Semănătoarea (now Petrache Poenaru) to Timpuri Noi. [5] It was 8.1-kilometre (5.0 mi) long with 6 stations. [5] Following this, more lines were opened: [11] [12]

Lines M1 and M3 have been sharing the section between Eroilor and Nicolae Grigorescu.

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 change trains at Basarab.

Generally, the underground stations feature large interiors. [10] The largest one, Piata Unirii, is cathedral-like, with vast interior spaces, hosting retail outlets and fast-food restaurants and has an intricate network of underground corridors and passageways.

Network map

Network Map - 2018 Metro Bucuresti.svg
Network Map - 2018


Metrorex is the Romanian company which runs the Bucharest Metro. It is fully owned by the Romanian Government through the Ministry of Transportation. There were plans to merge the underground and overground transportation systems into one authority subordinated to the City of Bucharest, however these plans did not come to fruition.

Infrastructure and Network

As of 2018, the entire network runs underground, except for a short stretch between Dimitrie Leonida and Berceni stations on the southern end of M2 line. The network is served by five depots, 2 being located above ground (IMGB and Industriilor) and three underground (Ciurel, Străulești and Pantelimon) and by additional smaller works at Gara de Nord and Eroilor stations.

There are two connections between the Metro network and the Romanian Railways network, one at Berceni (connecting to the Bucharest Belt Ring), the other at Ciurel (connecting via an underground passage to the Cotroceni-Militari industrial railway). The latter connection however is unused and mothballed. The metro network and the national rail network share the same track gauge (1,435 mm / 4 ft 8 12 in) and loading gauge but not the same electrification system (the metro uses 750 V DC whereas the Romanian Railways use 25,000 V 50 Hz AC) making it possible for new metro cars to be transported cross country as unpowered railway cars.

The network is powered by a bottom-contact third rail system except in works, depots and some tunnels where a catenary system is employed.


There are 4 metro lines in operation, 1 under construction, and another 1 in the planning phase:

LineOpenedCurrent trackUnder constructionPlannedOff-peak frequency [1] Rush hour frequency [1]
M1 197944.3 km0 km0 km8 minutes
(4 minutes between Eroilor and Nicolae Grigorescu)
6–7 minutes
(3–3.5 minutes between Eroilor and Nicolae Grigorescu)
M3 19830 km0 km
M2 198618.7 km0 km0 km9 minutes3–5 minutes
M4 20008.3 km0 km~11 km10 minutes7 minutes
M5 Q3 2019-Q1 2020 (est.)0 km7.2 km11.5 kmN/A
M6 ~2022 (est.)0 km0 km14.2 kmN/A
Total71.3 km7.2 km25.7 kmN/A

Signalling system

There are multiple signalling systems used. Line 2, the first one that has been modernized, uses Bombardier's CITYFLO 350 Automatic Train Control system. It ensures the protection (Automatic Train Protection) and operation (Automatic train operation) of the new Bombardier Movia trains.

The system uses an IPU (Interlocking processing unit), TI21-M track circuits and EbiScreen workstations. Signals have been kept only in areas where points are present, but only use a white light, meaning that the route has been assigned and the driver can use cab signalling. Trains are usually operated automatically, with the driver only opening and closing the doors and supervising the operation. Other features include auto turnback and a balise system, called PSM (precision stop marker). This ensures that the train can stop at the platform automatically.

On line 3, the ATC system has been merged with the Indusi system. Signals are present in point areas and platform ends. Along with the three red-yellow-green lights, the white ATP light has been added. Optical routes can be assigned, meaning that a train gets a green light (permission to pass the signal) only after the next signal has been passed by the train ahead, or a yellow light, meaning that the signal can be passed at low speed. Automatic Block signals have been removed.

Line 4 uses Siemens's (formally Invensys Rail Group) TBS 100 FB Automatic Train Control system.

Line 5 will use Alstom's Urbalis 400 Communications-based train control system.

Hours of operation

Trains run from 5 AM to 11 PM, every day. The last trains on M1, M2 and M3 wait for the transfer of the passengers between lines to complete, before leaving Piața Unirii station. [13]


At rush hour, trains run at 4–6-minute intervals on lines 1 and 3, 3–4-minute intervals on line 2, and at 7–8-minute on line 4; during the rest of the day, trains run at 8-minute intervals on lines 1 and 3, 9-minute intervals on line 2 and 10-minute intervals on line 4. [1]

Fares and tickets

Metrorex ticket METROREX ticket.jpg
Metrorex ticket

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.[ citation needed ] Like the RATB, the metro can get crowded during morning and evening rush hours. The network uses magnetic stripe cards, that are not valid for use on trams, buses or trolleys .

Magnetic stripe cards

Older style metro cards can be purchased at any metro station, except discounted passes, which can only be purchased at a limited number of stations. Prices : [14]

  • Integrated Metro and RATB (Bus, tram, trolleybus) ticket; valid for 60 minutes after first use - 5 lei
  • 1-trip card – 2.50 lei
  • 2-trip card – 5 lei (€1.13)
  • 1-day card – 8 lei (€1.80)
  • 10-trip card – 20 lei (€4.52)
  • Unlimited weekly pass (full price) – 25 lei (€5.65)
  • Unlimited monthly pass (full price) – 70 lei (€15.82)
  • Unlimited student monthly pass (available for students in Romanian universities) – 35 lei (€7.91)
  • Free for senior citizens over 70 years of age

Older-style metro cards are not linked with personal data or usage data in a central database and thus they guarantee anonymity of the travel. Because of that, however, if a metro card is lost or damaged, the traveler cannot be reimbursed for the unused trips.

Future service

Under construction


Other proposals

Metrorex is also planning the following new lines, routes and stations:

Rolling stock

The Bucharest Metro uses three types of trainsets: [1] [17]

VehicleType and descriptionInterior
Astra Iva train.jpg The Romanian designed Astra IVA trains, built in Arad, are made up of various trainsets (rame) connected together. Each trainset is made up of two permanently connected train-cars (B'B'-B'B' formation) that can only be run together. The Astra IVA rolling stock is approaching the end of its service life, so it is gradually being phased out. They are used on the M4. Interior de vagon de metrou tip IVA.jpg
3 Bucuresti Nord metro 130916.jpg The Bombardier Movia 346 trains are made up of six permanently connected cars, forming an open corridor for the entire length of the train (2'2'+Bo'Bo'+Bo'Bo'+Bo'Bo'+Bo'Bo'+2'2' formation). Bombardier trains are used on all lines, except line M4. RO B Bombardier train inside.jpg
Caf train on tests.jpg In November 2011, Metrorex signed a €97 million contract with CAF for 16 metro trains (96 cars), with options for a further 8 sets (48 cars). [18] The 114m-long six-car trains will be assembled in Romania. They each accommodate up to 1,200 passengers and are made up of four powered and two trailer vehicles. As of November 2014, all trains have been delivered and all 16 of them entered in service. As the CAF trains enter service, all of the Bombardier stock will be moved for use on line M3, according to Metrorex's plans to replace all of the old Astra IVA stock on the entire network.

In November 2014, Metrorex signed an additional €47 million contract with CAF for 8 metro trains. As of 2018, 24 CAF trains are in use, exclusively on line M2.

Interior CAF.jpg

The subway livery for Bucharest is either white with two yellow or red horizontal stripes below the window for the Astra trains, stainless steel with black and white for the Bombardier trains, or stainless steel with blue and white for the CAF trains.

All trains run on a 750 V DC 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 under construction.


In its almost 40 years of operations, there never have been very grave accidents, however, there have been various incidents, either during construction or operation. Accidents are investigated by the Railway Investigation Authority (Agenția de Investigare Feroviară Română (AGIFER).

Aside from these incidents, there have been other disruptions, especially in the last 3 years, due to suicides at the metro. A recent one on 25 June 2019, lead to the disruption of metro traffic at rush hour between Piața Unirii and Eroilor (the suicide took place at Izvor). Aside from that, in 2017, one woman was arrested for pushing a person in front of a train. These incidents led to criticism of METROREX, and suggestions to install platform screen doors or to increase security. Additionally, railfans reported harassment from security guards, being told "not to photograph in the stations", despite there being no official rule prohibiting photography in the metro network.


Bucharest Metro was the only one in the world that operated with passengers during testing. [19]

In the 1980s, the speed of building the network (4 kilometers / year) placed the Bucharest Metro on the second place in the world, after Mexico City Metro. [20]

The shortest distance between two adjacent stations is between Gara de Nord 2 (M4) and Basarab 2 (M4) and is 430 meters.

See also

Related Research Articles

Henri Coandă International Airport international airport serving Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest Henri Coandă International Airport is Romania's busiest international airport, located in Otopeni, 16.5 km (10.3 mi) north of Bucharest's city centre. It is currently one of two airports serving the capital of Romania. The other is Aurel Vlaicu Airport, which no longer serves scheduled passenger traffic.

Angst (supermarket)

Angst is a supermarket chain of 19 stores in Romania. It has a range of 1,000 products, mainly foodstuffs. Angst is owned by a Swiss-Romanian joint venture. Angst operates mainly in Bucharest but is based in the town of Buftea, near the capital. It employs 670 people. The motto of Angst is Excelenţa face diferenţa.

Transport in Bucharest

Bucharest has the largest transport network in Romania, and one of the largest in Europe. The Bucharest transport network is made up of a metro network and a surface transport network. Although there are multiple connection points, the two systems operate independently of each other, are run by different organisations (the metro is run by Metrorex and the surface transport network by Societatea de Transport București. The two companies used separate ticketing systems until 2017, when a new smartcard was introduced alongside the old tickets, which allows travels on both the STB and the Underground.

Bucharest North railway station is the main railway station in Bucharest and the largest railway station in Romania. The vast majority of mainline trains to and from Bucharest originate from Gara de Nord.

Crângași metro station metro station in Bucharest, Romania

Crângaşi is a metro station in the Crângași neighborhood, northwestern Bucharest.

Basarab metro station metro station in Bucharest, Romania

Basarab is a metro station in Bucharest. It is located to the Basarab railway station, Bucharest's main railway station, at the intersection of Calea Griviţei and Nicolae Titulescu Avenue.

1 Mai metro station metro station in Bucharest

1 Mai is a metro station in northern Bucharest, serving line M4. It is situated in Chibrit or Clăbucet Square, at the intersection of Griviţa Way, Ion Mihalache Avenue and Bucureştii Noi Road.

Piața Romană metro station metro station in Bucharest, Romania

Piaţa Romană is a metro station in central Bucharest, located in the square with the same name, on the main north-south axis of the city centre. It was not included in the initial plans of the network and was added at a later stage due to increasing demand. Because of this, the platforms are asymmetrical, very narrow and the waiting area is in a corridor separated by thick walls from the platforms in order to sustain the station's structure in the sandy soil, on which a number of 1920s high-rises are also situated.

Gara de Nord metro station metro station in Bucharest, Romania

Gara de Nord is the name of two separate metro stations, situated near Gara de Nord train station in Bucharest and serving lines M1 and M4. Neither of the metro stations nor the railway station are interconnected, passengers being required to use the next station (Basarab) to switch from M1 to M4 directly, without having to validate a ticket.

M1 is the first line of the Bucharest Metro, the first section having been opened on 16 November 1979. The M1 Line runs from Dristor 2 to Pantelimon. Between Nicolae Grigorescu and Eroilor it shares tracks with the M3. Due to Pantelimon only having one platform, most trains terminate at the Republica, and only one in three terminates at Pantelimon. Although part of line M1, some Bucharest city tourist maps show this short section in a different colour from the rest of the line.

M2 is one of the four lines of metro of the Bucharest Metro. The M2 Line runs from Pipera to Berceni, thus linking the north from the south of the city. The line is the busiest on the system, passing through a multitude of neighbourhoods and also the only line to serve the centre of the city.

M4 is one of the 4 lines of the Bucharest Metro. It is currently the shortest, at 8.3 km (5.2 mi) long and also the newest. It runs from Gara de Nord to Străulești, following the Griviței and Bucureștii Noi avenues.

M5 is a metro line of the Bucharest Metro currently under construction. The M5 Line will run from Râul Doamnei, in the Drumul Taberei neighbourhood, to Eroilor, and to Valea Ialomiţei, in the first phase. This section is expected to be opened at the end of 2019. After that, the line will be extended to Iancului, and from there under Iancului Road until it reaches the Pantelimon station of M1. The expected construction cost is €740 million.

M3 is one of the 4 lines of the Bucharest Metro. M3 Line runs from Anghel Saligny to Preciziei. It is the east-west line of the system.

M6 is a planned metro line of the Bucharest Metro. The M6 Line will connect Bucharest North railway station to Henri Coandă International Airport. The line is expected to be completed by 2025-2030.

Bucharest Light rail

The Bucharest light rail is a light rail transit system in Bucharest, Romania.

Giurgiului neighborhood of Bucharest

Giurgiului is a neighborhood in the southern part of the Romanian capital Bucharest, near Berceni and Ferentari. Like Berceni, Giurgiului has plenty of 10-storey blocks of flats that were built under Communist rule starting with 1959-1964. The estimated population is between 30,000 and 40,000. Before the Communists started their massive building programme, Giurgiului was a farming village. After 1948 the village was added to the city area. A few years later in the south of the neighborhood a pipe factory was built along with a power plant, CET Berceni.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 "Metrorex - Network features". Metrorex . Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  2. 1 2 "Metrorex - Map" (in Romanian). Metrorex . Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  3. 1 2 Timpul de aşteptare la metrou, neschimbat de cinci ani
  4. "Activity Report – 2017" (pdf). Metrorex S.A. p. 36. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  5. 1 2 3 4 "Metrorex - Metrorex history". Metrorex . Retrieved 8 May 2014.
  6. Cand se va circula la standarde europene
  7. 1 2 "30 de ani de exploatare a metroului bucurestean" (in Romanian). agir.ro. August 2009.
  8. "Metroul bucureștean, 10 lucruri pe care ar trebui să le cunoști" (in Romanian). historia.ro. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
  9. "Bucureștiul mileniului trei imaginat în 1930" (in Romanian). cotidianul.ro. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
  10. 1 2 "Ce nu știați despre metroul bucureștean: De la planurile din 1909, la Magistrala 7" (in Romanian). 19 November 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
  11. 1 2 3 Bucharest Metro at urbanrail.net
  12. "Istoric Metroul bucureștean" (in Romanian). metroubucuresti.webs.com. Archived from the original on 9 August 2014. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
  13. "Metrorex - Schedule". Metrorex . Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  14. "Metrorex - Fees". Metrorex . Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  15. "Bucuresti metro expansion tendering". Railway Gazette. 22 February 2011. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  16. Vlad Ignat. "Păianjenul Metrorex schimbă harta Capitalei. Bucureștenii se mută în subteran, din 2030" [Metrorex's Web Project changes the map of Bucharest. Bucharest moves underground by 2030]. Adevărul (in Romanian). Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  17. În cele mai noi stații de metrou vor circula cele mai vechi trenuri Metrorex (in Romanian)
  18. CAF Info cars
  19. "Metroul din București, singurul din lume care a funcționat cu călători în perioada de probe | Bucurestii Vechi si Noi". www.bucurestiivechisinoi.ro (in Romanian). Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  20. Juncu, Diana. "10 lucruri pe care nu le știai despre metroul bucureștean". OBSERVATOR.TV. Retrieved 7 July 2018.