The Tbilisi Metro

Anano Chikhradze | Live the World

November 23, 2022

I think when you go to a new country, which you want to explore, one of the experiences you can get is to use the local public transport, especially the Metro, to find out how everyday life of a typical resident of the city is. Tb[ilisi]( also offers that experience to its guests. The metro of Tbilisi currently consists of 2 lines: Akhmeteli-Varketili Line also known as the first line, and Saburtalo Line. In total there are 23 stations, from that 16 is on the first line and 7 - on the second line. Passengers’ everyday turnover is around 600,000. Total system length is 26.4 kilometers and the average trip speed is around 33 km/h

A Brief History

Interesting fact about the Tbilisi Metro is that it was the fourth Metro System in the territory of the Soviet Union after Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Kiev, but the problem was that the metro was built despite the fact that the city had not yet reached the population limit of 1 million, which was one of the criteria of starting a construction of metros in the Soviet Union. The Tbilisi Metro is 52 years old. The first five stations of the Tbilisi metro opened in 1966 and after that, it has rapidly expanded. The last station on Saburtalo Line opened in 2017. From 23 stations, 21 are below the ground and 2 are on surface level – Didube and Gotsiridze on the first line.

Future perspectives and suspended projects

From 1991 due to the split of the Soviet Union, the construction of the Metro was temporarily stopped. After that only two stations were added– Vazha-Pshavela in 2000 and State University in 2017. However, in the original project, there was planned to build 3 lines. From that, only Saburtalo Line is completed today. On the first line, 3 additional stations were planned. Their construction started, but in the 90s, it was stopped halfway due to a shortage of funds.

Today those constructions are closed and flooded. The third line had to be Rustaveli-Vazisubani Line, consisting of 14 stations from which 4 had to be transfer stations. In the first stage of construction, they planned to open 5 stations until 2000, but from 1992 they were also ceased. *From 2006, the government started a massive rehabilitation projects. *In total, there are 162 cars of which 125 are active. After the rehabilitation project, almost all of them have been modified and new trains are planned to be added in near future. I think the opportunity to continue the construction of the remaining unfinished stations is great.

For a busy city such as Tbilisi, the main solution of the traffic is a development of public transports especially the underground ones.

How to use it?

It is quite simple to use metro in Tbilisi as there are only two lines.

First line: Akhmeteli Theatre - Sarajishvili - Guramishvili - Ghrmaghele - Didube - Gotsiridze - Nadzaladevi - Station Square I - Marjanishvili - Rustaveli - Freedom Square - Avlabari - 300 Aragveli - Isani - Samgori - Varketili.

Saburtalo Line: Station Square II - Tsereteli - Technical University - Medical University - Delisi - Vazha-Pshavela - State University.

As you already guessed, Station Square serves as a transfer station.

Tokens are no longer used in the Tbilisi Metro, instead, you have to buy a Metromoney card (available at every station) and add money on it. The card costs 2 Gel, which is a one-time payment and every journey including transfer costs 0.5 Gel. In addition, the system lets you re-enter metro for the next 90 minutes free of charge. Metro works 6:00 - 00:00 with the intervals ranging between 2.5 minutes at peak times to 12 minutes at night.

I hope you will not miss metro experience ones you are in Tbilisi, even just to compare it with others or just to go through the same process as a typical residence of Tbilisi.

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