After a delay of some 21 years, Tbilisi finally received a brand new metro station last week. Located in the popular and upmarket Saburtalo district of the city, the metro is an extension to the city’s green line, linking to Vazha-Pshavela station. Called ‘University’, the station is located close to Tbilisi State University’s Maglivi X building on University Street.
Following the lengthy gap in adding more metro stations to the network, Georgian state officials say that more new stations are planned to be added to the system over time.
The 2.6km of tunnels to Vazha-Pshvela station were actually completed back in 1996. However, lack of funds stopped construction until last year, when the $84 million project to complete the line was enabled due to new financing, most of which was funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The new construction work was carried out by the Spanish construction company, Kobra Assigna, who restored the old, existing tunnels and constructed new buildings, both above and below ground. A new subway entrance was also constructed at Vazha Pshavela station. In total, around 2,000 people were employed on the project.
Tbilisi’s Metro originally opened in 1966. Today, it consists of two lines containing a total of 27km of tracks, with 23 fully-functioning stations. Currently, the network transports about 350-400,00 passengers daily. With the opening of the new University Station, it will now be possible for the network to serve an additional 15,000 each day.
The new station was officially opened by Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili. In his address upon the opening, he congratulated the city’s residents:
“I hope the University Metro station will become an example of how urban transport is possible to be developed, which is so important for Tbilisi inhabitants as well as for the guests of the city,” said Kvirikashvili.
“Infrastructure projects are planned to increase across the country,” the Prime Minister added. “In 2017 alone, we’ve had 37% growth in infrastructure projects. Last year, in 2016, 970 million GEL was spent on infrastructure projects, while this year 1.35 billion GEL will be spent, which is 36-37% increase compared to last year. This has become possible by decreasing administrative expenses along effective work with financial institutions.”
He stated that the modernization of the Metro’s rolling stock is continuing, with 44 cars already having been improved. In addition, three Metro stations have also been renovated, with three more under renovation as of today. He added that, before the summer of next year, many more infrastructure projects will be started in Georgia – 90% more than were started in 2016.
The opening of the new station enables many more residents in the western part of Saburtalo to obtain quick and easy transport to all parts of the city. This is excellent news for anyone investing in new developments location in this area, such as Archi Saburtalo, which is located just 250m from the new Metro station.