Bucharest Subway, Bucharest, Romania
> 650,000 people use it every day.
> It is one of the largest projects of Ceausescu.
> 67 km long, 48 stations.
The Bucharest Metro is an underground urban railway network that serves the capital of Romania, Bucharest, the largest city in the Balkans region. An average of 650,000 passengers use it every day. It is 67 km long and has 48 stations. The earliest plans for a Bucharest Metro were drafted in the late 1930s, but the outbreak of WW II halted the project; it has been restarted in the 70's by Ceausescu.
The design of the stations on the initial lines was different from the other Eastern European country: simple, clean cut modern designs, without excessive additions, being focused on the speed of transit.The trainsets themselves were all constructed in Romania and did not follow the Eastern European style of construction; no station was made to look exactly like any other. Despite this, many stations are rather dark, due to the policies of energy economy coming back from the late 1980s, later modernisations doing little to fix this problem. Large stations which connect with other lines (such as Victoriei) have two terminals, and each terminal goes by a different name (Victoriei 1 and Victoriei 2). On the official network map, they are shown as two stations with a connection in between, even though, in practice (and in trip planners), they are really only one station with platforms at different levels. There is one exception: the railway station metro hub, Gara de Nord 1 and Gara de Nord 2 are separate stations indeed. Generally, the underground stations feature large interiors. The largest one, Piata Unirii is huge, with vast interior spaces, hosting retail outlets and fast-food restaurants and has an intricate network of underground corridors and passage ways. The minimum distance between two trains is 90 seconds.
There are 4 metro lines in operations, and 3 more are being planned. The plans for extending the system will increase it to over 100 km and about 80 stations.
Although the Bucharest Metro is, on the whole, an efficient transportation system, there are several common criticisms of the network. One of these is the relatively poor signage and the lack of network maps on the system. Additionally, many stations have poor signage showing correspondence passages and exits. For this reason, it is possible to get lost on the system or take the train in the opposite direction. Another possible source of confusion for infrequent travellers is the audio announcements in stations and trains. In trains, the name of the station is never announced when entering the station. Rather, as the doors close, the next station is announced, as well as the location of the platform on the next station.