Sofia’s second metro rail line is scheduled to open on August 31, with the final touches now being put on the 11 new metro stations, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov said on August 13 after taking a test ride on the new line.
As part of the second metro line’s construction – which will run from Nadezhda residential borough through central Sofia, past the National Palace of Culture (NDK) to James Bourchier Boulevard – one of Sofia’s main thoroughfares, Cherni Vruh Boulevard, has undergone major reconstruction. The metro line’s erstwhile terminus station at James Bourchier Boulevard will have a 620-car parking lot.
Metropolitan Sofia, the city hall’s company that manages the existing metro rail network and the construction of new lines, plans to expand the line further in both directions – to Hladilnika borough southwards and Iliyantsi borough to the north.
But the company will focus its efforts in the near future on the extension of first metro line to Sofia Airport. To that end, Bulgaria will apply to the European Commission for permission to use the savings from the EU funds allocation for the airport extension, Borissov said.
European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso is expected to attend the official opening of the second metro line during his visit to Sofia at the end of the month. The official opening ceremony has been scheduled for 10am on August 31 and the line would become fully operational at 2pm.
The addition of a second metro line will also result in increased prices for the monthly metro passes, which will go up to 35 leva.
(Serdika station in central Sofia, photo by jaime.silva/flickr.com)