The new Drumul Taberei-Universitate Metro line 5 has had its Funding slashed and completion date put back by four years. The 2013 budget includes a five-fold cut in funding and the completion of the project has been pushed back from 2014 to 2018.
The new line 5 will connect the south-western part of Bucharest with the city center and the north/south metro line 2.
In early 2012, a budget requirement of some EUR 86.5 million was given for the project. Last summer, the government’s budget correction reduced funding to less than half this figure – EUR 40.5 million – but at the time the Minister of Transport proposed spending some EUR 114 million on the new metro line in 2013. However, the latest budget for 2013 is just EUR 21.5 million, according to local business newspaper Ziarul Financiar.
The Bucharest metro company Metrorex transported over 89 million passengers in the first half of 2012 year, after registering over 170 million passengers during the whole of 2011. The Bucharest metro network, which is 33 years old, has 51 stations and 70 kilometers, covering only 3.7 percent of the entire public transport network in Bucharest. The metro is however one of the preferred means of transport for commuters, as it takes over around a quarter of the passenger traffic within the public transport system.
On average, 70,000 people use the metro daily. With the planned expansions, the Bucharest metro company estimates it will carry around half of the commuters in Bucharest, while the length of the network will go up to 160 km. The percentage of Bucharest commuters using the the metro system is, however, quite high. Less than 20 percent of commuters in London use the world’s oldest metro system, the London Underground, according to the UK’s Office for National Statistics.
The fourth metro line will be expanded with two new stations, Laminorului and Lac Străuleşti, with work already underway, while a new segment will be added to this line, between the North Railway Station and the Progresul railway.
The now delayed fifth metro line was scheduled to come next. The sixth line will connect the airport to the city, and the seventh will connect the West to the East of the city, from Bragadiru to Voluntari.