Bulgarian Minister of Transport, Rosen Jeliazkov, announced that in the next programming period, European funds through the Operational Program “Transport and Transport Infrastructure” will be used for the construction of two metro extensions that will connect the Sofia’s central part with the Levski and Slatina districts. After 2020, Bulgaria will allot EUR 500 million for metro development projects.
The first extension envisages the construction of 6 new metro stations from Shipka to Tsarigradsko Shose Blvd. at St. Anna University Hospital. The second extension includes the construction of 3 new metro stations reaching Levski district.
In the currently programming OP “Transport and Transport Infrastructure”, EUR 2 billion are invested in transport infrastructure across the country, and the “next period is even slightly increased financial resource, but it is expected to the end of 2019 to have full clarity on the issue. We will follow a similar logic in allocating funds after 2020, with about EUR 500 million planned for the metro network,” the minister said.
Currently, Sofia is working on metro Line 3 that will provide east-west connection. It will have 18 km with 19 stations bringing the total length of Sofia’s metro network to 56 km of lines and 53 stations by 2020. Line 3 will be served by 20 Inspiro trains and the contract includes an option for additional 10 metro trains.
In June, the European Investment Bank announced the evaluation of the second stage of Line 3 project for which intends to provide EUR 22 million financing. EIB intends to award this financing to cover a total cost of EUR 50 million. The project includes a twin-track metro line approximately 3.8 km in length, 4 metro stations, and a railway stop for connection to the national railway network at the last metro station. The total cost of the project is EUR 500 million, of which EUR 350 million is covered by the EU funds. The financing of the project is ensured at 70 percent by the EU under the Operational Program “Transport and Transport Infrastructure” and 30 percent are locally co-financed. The project is implemented in two phases. The works on the first stage of the Line 3 were launched in 2016 and involve the construction of an 8 km section with 8 stations which will be put into service in 2019, when 20 metro trains will operate on the line. The construction contract is performed by a consortium of Doğuş, Via Construct and Ultrastroy.