The FINANCIAL -- After a pause of 22 years construction of a new metro station in Tbilisi will start on a frozen extension of the Saburtalo Line. The name of the
station will be State University.
The project has been ordered by the Municipal Development Fund of Georgia. The works will be completed by the end of 2012. After that a tender will be announced for construction works. The project is being financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The Bank has issued USD 30 million for this.
“Construction of a new subway line requires huge finances. The USD 30 million that will be spent on the new metro line will cover just the construction of the station as the tunnel was created during Soviet times. The largest amount is required by the tunnel itself, which amounts to a hundred million. As a result we were unable to construct a new metro line for such a long time,” Tamaz Robakidze, Marketing Manager at Tbilisi Transport Company, told The FINANCIAL.
“Real estate in the Saburtalo district presently costs USD 600-700. Construction of the new metro station will have a positive influence on this district, but I do not think that it will vastly affect the prices of real estate there. Price increase is mostly influenced by the economic situation in general,” Alexander Chubinidze, Broker at markler.ge, told The FINANCIAL.
During the first half of 2012 Tbilisi Metropolitan saw an increase of passengers of 7.5 million in comparison with the same period of last year. The total number of customers amounted to 53,919,160 in the first six months of 2012, while the average daily number of passengers is 299,000.
In 2011 Tbilisi Metropolitan served 85,113,076 passengers. “We have been serving approximately 233,000 passengers a day,” Robakidze said.
In October, November and December Tbilisi Metropolitan carried the largest number of customers - more than 8 million. Meanwhile February and August shared the lowest number, of just over 5 million.
In January we transported 6,101949 passengers; in February - 5,858,690; in March - 7,401,849; in April - 6,486,233; in May - 7,299,339; in June - 6,951,981; in July - 6,155,106; in August - 5,476,232; in September - 7,144,325; in October - 8,852,062; in November - 8,627,242; in December - 8,758,068.
The Tbilisi Metro was opened on December 11, 1966. It became the fourth metro system 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.
Construction began in 1952. Tbilisi was the only city of the former USSR where the construction of the metro system started before the total of the residents crossed one million. Having a population of over one million was one of the main criteria for building a metro system in Soviet cities.
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. The last opening of a new metro station in Tbilisi was in April, 2000.
After October 1, 2010, all Tbilisi subway stations started using the travelling cards Metromaney with the following benefits: 1st trip - 50 Tetri; 2nd - 30; 3rd and subsequent trip - 20.
“The company MS+ issues the cards. In 2011 the company issued 600,000 cards, the total number in circulation amounts to approximately 1,200,000,” Robakidze said.
According to Wikipedia, after 2005 the Tbilisi Metro system was undergoing a major rehabilitation effort, including the reconstruction of stations as well as modernization of the trains and other facilities. The city’s 2006 budget allocated GEL 16 million for this project. President of Georgia, Mikhail Saakashvili , promised to make the metro the most prestigious mode of public transport and charged the Director General of Tbilisi Metro, Zurab Kikalishvili, in late 2005, with the responsibility of bringing the metro to European standards by 2007. In subsequent years, however, the upgrade process has slowed significantly and as of July 2010, the Tbilisi metro rail is still far from its target standard.