|Native name||Metro de Bilbao |
|Locale||Greater Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain|
|Transit type||Rapid transit|
|Number of lines||3|
|Number of stations||49 |
(31 subway, 18 surface)
|Annual ridership||91.5 million (2019)|
|Began operation||11 November 1995|
|Operator(s)||Biscay Transport Consortium (CTB)|
|System length||49.16 km (30.5 mi)|
|No. of tracks||2 (mostly) |
|Track gauge||1,000 mm (3 ft 3+3⁄8 in)|
|Electrification||1500 V overhead lines|
Metro Bilbao (Spanish: Metro de Bilbao, Basque: Bilboko metroa) is a rapid transit (metro) system serving the city of Bilbao and the region of Greater Bilbao. Lines 1 and 2 have a "Y" shape (not to be confused with the 'Basque Y' rail project), as they transit both banks of the Nervión river and then combine to form one line that ends in the south of Bilbao. Line 3 has a "V" shape connecting the municipality of Etxebarri with the Bilbao neighbourhood of Matiko; the corner of the "V" is Zazpikaleak/Casco Viejo station, where all three current lines meet. The network of Metro Bilbao is connected with the tram, Bilboko Aldiriak (commuter rail services), Euskotren Trena (commuter rail services), Feve (commuter rail services, regional and long-distance trains), the Renfe service (long-distance trains) and Bilbao's bus station Bilbao Intermodal. It uses a meter gauge.
As of 2017[update], the Metro operates on 49.16 kilometers (30.55 mi) of route, with 48 stations (31 of them underground, and 17 on the surface) with 80 accesses (not counting elevators). It is the third-largest Metro company in Spain by number of passengers carried (87,133,034 in 2013) behind the Madrid and Barcelona metro systems.
On 21 February 2007, the Basque Government announced the project for the construction of the third metro line, which in the future will be expanded to Bilbao Airport. Construction of the third line began in July 2008 and was inaugurated 8 April 2017. On 25 January 2008, the preliminary layout of lines four and five was published. At the same time, the University of the Basque Country requested the construction of "Line 6" in order to connect Leioa (where the university is located) and Getxo with Asua Valley (where the airport is located) going through the university campus.
Current network and connections
|Line||Terminals||Length||Stations in service||Total stations||Operator|
|Etxebarri - Plentzia||33.3 km (20.7 mi)||29||29||Metro Bilbao S.A.|
|Basauri - Kabiezes||22.98 km (14.28 mi)||25||25||Metro Bilbao S.A.|
|Santurtzi - Mamariga||500 m (0.31 mi)||2||2||Metro Bilbao S.A.|
|Matiko - Kukullaga||5.9 km (3.7 mi)||7||7||Euskotren|
|TOTAL||49.16 km (30.55 mi)(*)||49(*)||49(*)|
(*) The section between the stations of San Inazio and Etxebarri is the same for Lines 2 and 1 with 10.39 kilometres (6.46 mi) and twelve common stations being shared.
- Bolueta Station
- Casco Viejo Station
- Abando Station
- Cercanías (C1, C2 and C3)
- RENFE: Long-distance trains
- Bilbao tram
- FEVE : B-1 (Bilbao-Concordia / Balmaseda), R-3 (Bilbao-Concordia / Santander), R-3b (Bilbao-Concordia / Carranza) and T-1 (Transcantábrico)
- Bizkaibus : Lines A2314, A2322, A2324, A3115, A3122, A3136, A3137, A3144, A3151, A3152, A3336, A3337, A3514, A3515, A3911, A3912, A3917 and 3925
- Bilbobus : Lines 01, 03, 10, 26, 30, 40, 50, 56, 58, 62, 71, 72, 75, 77, 85, A1, A2, A5, G2, G3, G4, G5, G6, G7 and G8
- San Mamés Station
- San Inazio Station
- Metro Bilbao: Inter-connexion between Line 1 and Line 2
- Bilbobus : Lines 10, 13, 18 y 71
Besides this, most of the stations have connections with different bus lines. At the same time, Urbinaga Station was built with the intention of connecting lines C1 and C2 of Cercanías and Ansio Station with a bus terminal. However, these connection projects have not been finished as of 2011. Eventually the Urbinaga project was restarted in 2009. That future intermodal station will also take advantage of the future Leioa-Urbinaga Tram. Its construction was expected to start at the end of 2009.
The idea of building a metro system in the city of Bilbao is an old one. In the 1920s the city's council prepared a project to build a metro system in the neighbourhoods of Abando and San Francisco. Soon after, the economic crises and the Spanish Civil War put a definitive end to the project.
In 1971 the government of Biscay, the Bilbao City Council and the Commerce Bureau created a commission to evaluate the transportation needs of Greater Bilbao. In 1976, five years later, the Biscay Transport Consortium (CTB, see Barik card) was created. In that same year two proposals were created to start a metro service in 1985, the first of them is almost identical to the current network.
A year later a project was created to build the metro, however many objections were raised against it and disagreements between different institutions put an end to it.
In 1985 the construction plans were altered and a new project was created. Finally in 1987 the Basque Government approved the plan to build and finance the Bilbao Metro.
A metro system was deemed to be the best way to improve congestion problems in the evolving and regenerating city. The contract for the underground metro system in Bilbao was awarded to the architects Sir Norman Foster and partners in 1988 following an open competition.
The same year the first underground station was opened in Erandio, on the existing Bilbao-Plentzia railway. In 1989 construction began in the city centre, where the main Moyúa square was closed to pedestrians until 1997. Construction was especially complicated in the neighbourhoods of Deusto and San Inazio, where the cut and cover tunnel excavation damaged some buildings, was very noisy, and caused severe traffic disruptions. This method of excavation contrasted with the tunnel-boring machines used elsewhere in the city.
The first part of line 1 opened on 11 November 1995, with 23 stations between Casco Viejo and Plentzia. The tracks outside Bilbao were previously part of Eusko Trenbideak / Ferrocarriles Vascos (Euskotren Trena) and earlier of FEVE.
By 5 July 1997 the total number of stations was 27 as Santutxu, Basarrate and Bolueta joined Gobela which had opened the previous year.
The first line, which operates north of the River Nervión, was later joined by a second line, which operates south of the river. The two lines split at San Inazio, from where the second runs to Santurtzi. The original five stations (Gurutzeta-Cruces, Ansio, Barakaldo, Bagatza and Urbinaga) were opened on 13 April 2002. The furthest eastern point is now Etxebarri station, opened along with Sestao on 8 January 2005. Line 2 was enlarged with two new stations in Portugalete that were opened on 20 January 2007 (Abatxolo and Portugalete). Two new stations joined the Metro system on 4 July 2009 in Santurtzi: Peñota and Santurtzi stations. In 2014, the station of Kabiezes was inaugurated.
Following the commencement of works in the middle of 2009, it was inaugurated on 8 April 2017. It cost 279 million euros, significantly more than the original 153 million euro budget. and was expected to transport 71,000 people according to Bilbao council. The third line has a length of 5,885 metres and has one station in Etxebarri: Kukullaga-Etxebarri, and six stations in Bilbao: Otxarkoaga, Txurdinaga, Zurbaranbarri, Zazpikaleak/Casco Viejo, Uribarri and Matiko.
|Line||Terminals||Status||Length||Total number of stations||Operator|
|Line 1||Etxebarri / Plentzia||Complete||33 km||29||Metro Bilbao S.A.|
|Line 2||Basauri / Kabiezes||Complete||22 km||25||Metro Bilbao S.A.|
|Mamariga Shuttle||Santurtzi / Mamariga||Complete||0.5 km||2||Metro Bilbao S.A.|
|Line 3||Kukullaga / Matiko||Complete||5.9 km||7||Euskotren Trena|
|Airport Line||Matiko / Aireportua||Under construction||6.5 km||3||Euskotren Trena|
|Line 4||Matiko / Rekalde||Under study||6 km||7||Metro Bilbao S.A.|
|Line 5||Etxebarri / Usansolo||Under study||8.8 km||6||Metro Bilbao S.A.|
Extensions to Line 1
A new station in the municipality of Getxo called "Ibarbengoa-Getxo" was expected to be open in 2010, but was delayed until early 2012, and then to 2015. It is also expected that the level crossings located in Maidagan and Urduliz will be buried.
Extensions to Line 2
It is not expected to expand the line further from Kabiezes, despite the requests of the neighbors of the Mining Zone and Ortuella, where the parking area of the Metro units will be located.
Extensions to common line (Lines 1 and 2)
Basauri's town hall, along with the neighbouring towns, requested the construction of another station in Basauri, in the neighborhood of Sarratu. That station would work as an interchange station for different means of transportation. In the last months of 2009, Metro Bilbao announced that it would consider the creation of that station in Basauri, as it would work as an intermodal station for the services of Euskotren Trena; FEVE (which only has cargo services in that location); and even with Line 5 of the metro.
Line 3 expansion
Line 4 project (Under study)
The preliminary layout of the future Line 4 (Moyúa/Rekalde) was presented on 25 January 2008. The preliminary layout suggests that Moyúa Station, which gives service to Line 1 and Line 2, will connect with Rekalde with two intermediate stations: Zabalburu (which has a suburban rail station) and Irala. There have been discussions about the ramifications of whether to connect with either Moyúa Station or Bilbao Abando Station, this is due to the fact that Rekalde did not have a Metro connection. Line 3 was planned to connect Rekalde with the rest of the city, but the final plan moved the line in another direction.
The plan to add Rekalde to Line 3 was halted, and the route completely altered. This change was criticised, especially by people from Rekalde. In 2009 a new layout for a new line (Line 4) was considered; this new line would connect Rekalde with Moyúa and the latter station with Deusto, taking advantage of the rail tracks of Euskotren Trena, that are in that zone. Matiko Station would be connected too. The line would then have the Plaza Euskadi Station ("Euskadi Square Station") after Moyúa and then cross the river to Deusto (Deusto Station) and a new station in the University of Deusto campus (Unibersitatea), to then reach Matiko (Line 3).
Line 5 project (Under study)
Also on 25 January 2008 the preliminary layout for Line 5 (Etxebarri/Usansolo) was presented. This new line would connect Etxebarri with Galdakao. At first it was only planned for the line to have five stations, however the line is still on studies and may suffer major modifications. Later, one more station was added, on the Bengoetxe neighbourhood on Galdakao. The line was expected to begin constructed in 2012 and was expected to be finished in 2016.
The stations on the preliminary layout are Etxebarri (which gives service to Line 2 and Line 1), Aperribai, Bengoetxe, Galdakao, Galdakao's Hospital, and Usansolo, where the metro will be connected with lines 1, 1d and 3 from Euskotren Trena, which operate in that station.
Lines and stations
The Metro Bilbao network is divided into the following fare zones:
- Zone 1 (Bilbao), from Bolueta (main line for L1 and L2) to San Inazio (main line for L1 and L2), inclusive.
- Zone 2 (Upper Nervion), Etxebarri and Ariz (main line for L1 and L2).
- Zone 2A (Right Bank of the river), from Lutxana (Line 1) to Berango (Line 1), inclusive.
- Zone 2B (Left Bank of the river), from Gurutzeta/Cruces (Line 2) to Kabiezes (Line 2), inclusive.
- Zone 3 (Uribe Kosta), from Larrabasterra (Line 1) to Plentzia (Line 1), inclusive.
Metro Bilbao offered special cards that are personal and cannot be transferred, replaced by Barik cards on 2017, with a time limit of 5 years since the date of issue. They can be obtained at any of the customer service offices of Metro Bilbao (located in the stations of Ansio, Casco Viejo, San Inazio and Areeta).
- Carnet Kidea Socio (Kidea Member Card): For use with monthly tickets and Super 50 tickets.
- Carnet Gaztea Joven (Youth Gaztea Card): For use with the youth ticket, monthly ticket and Super 50 tickets.
- Carnet Hirukotrans (Hirukotrans Card): For use with the Hirukotrans ticket.
- Carnet Gizatrans (Gizatrans Card): For use with Gizatrans ticket.
- Carnet Gizatrans para familia numerosa (Gizatrans card for large families): For use with Gizatrans ticket for large families.
Tickets and fares
The ticket system is closed, which means that validation of the ticket is required when entering the station and again when exiting.
There are different types of tickets, each of which has a different fare (updated as 2009):
Metro Bilbao exclusive use
- Occasional ticket: One-way ticket. Can be transferred. Fares: 1 Zone: 1,40€; 2 Zones: 1,50€; 3 Zones: 1,60€
- Round-trip ticket: Valid for two trips (going and coming back). Can be transferred. Fares: 1 Zone: 2,80€; 2 Zones: 3€; 3 Zones: 3,20€
- Billete Día (Day Ticket): Unlimited trips the same day of the expedition of the ticket. Can be transferred. Fare: 4€ (valid in all zones).
- Billete colectivo (Groupal ticket): Valid for one trip or round trip, to be made on a specific date. Only for groups of 20 people or more. Fare: Variable.
- Billete Mensual (Month Ticket): Unlimited trips in 30 days. Personal and cannot be transferred. A "Carnet Joven" (Youth Card), "Carnet de Socio del Metro" (Metro Honorary Member Card) or "Carnet Plus" (Plus Card) is required to obtain this ticket. Fare: 1 Zone: 29,40€; 2 Zones: 35€; 3 Zones: 40,70€
- Ticket Joven (Youth Ticket): Unlimited trips in 12 months. Personal and cannot be transferred. To obtain one is needed to have less than 26 years and a Youth Card. Fares: 1 Zone: 188€; 2 Zones: 221€; 3 Zones: 255€
- Super 50: Valid for 50 trips, to be made in 30 days. Personal cand cannot be transferred. A "Carnet Joven" (Youth Card), "Carnet de Socio del Metro" (Metro Honorary Member Card) or "Carnet Plus" (Plus Card) is required to obtain this ticket. Fares: 1 Zone: 24,50€; 2 Zones: 29€; 3 Zones: 32,50€
- Combined ticket with Renfe (Uria): Valid for 10 trips. Can be transferred. Can be obtained in Abando Station and San Mames Station. The Uria ticket can be used in the following stations: Metro Bilbao: Zone A. Cercanías: Bilbao-Abando, Zabalburu Station, Ametzola Station, Autonomía Station, San Mamés Station, Olabeaga Station, Zorrotza Station, Miribilla Station and La Peña Station. The change between Renfe and Metro should be of 20 minutes or less. Fare: 9,65€.
- Combined ticket with Euskotren Trena. Valid for 10 trips, monthly or annual. Valid in the stations of Casco Viejo and Bolueta. The change between Euskotren Trena and Metro should be of 15 minutes or less.
- Creditrans. Valid for as many trips as the money charge (pre-paid) of the card supports. Can be transferred and used several times in the same trip. Creditrans is a pre-paid card that can be used in Metro Bilbao, Euskotren Trena, the tram, FEVE, Bilbobus, Bizkaibus, Artxanda Funicular, Vizcaya Bridge, Lujua's Bus, Etxebarri Bus and Sopelbus. Fares: 1 Zone: 0,69€; 2 Zones: 0,83€; 3 Zones: 0,93€. Creditrans is the most popular and most used ticket system on Metro Bilbao and some other transportation systems.
- Gizatrans (only valid for people older than 65 or some kind of physical disadvantage). Personal and cannot be transferred. It can be used in the same places as Creditrans with the exceptions of Sopelbus, FEVE and Vizcaya Bridge. Price (of a single Gizatrans card): 3€. Fares (for Metro Bilbao): 0,27€ (valid in all zones).
- Hirukotrans (big families). Personal and cannot be transferred. To obtain one is needed to have a Hirukotrans Card. Only available for big families.
Creditrans, Gizatrans and Hirukotrans will no longer be issued after 31 March 2013 as they have been replaced by the Barik electronic card. Any old Creditrans with a credit on them can be used until the end of 2013.
Schedules and frequencies
The Metro network works from 6:00 am until 11:00 pm from Monday to Thursday, and until 2:00 am on Friday and days before festive days. There is an all night service from Saturday to Sunday, with trains each 15 minutes on the main lines and with a 30-minute frequency on the other lines. During June, July, August and September, the no-interruptions night service also works on Fridays. During "Bilbao's Great Week", there are special services every night.
During weekdays, there is a frequency of 2.5 minutes on Zone A, 5 minutes on Zone B.0, B.1 y B.2 and 18 minutes on Zone C during most of the day.
In 2007 Metro Bilbao was used by almost 86 million people, being the third most used metro in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona. Since it serves directly about 680,000 people, each citizen travels about 126 times a year. Ridership increases steadily every year, there were dramatic increases in 1998 and 2002 due to enlargement of the network, ridership is expected to reach 100 million people per year once the network is completed.
Busiest stations in 2019
- Casco Viejo – 7,211,370
- Moyua – 6,401,254
- Indautxu – 6,279,735
- San Mames – 6,215,224
- Abando – 6,202,976
- Santutxu – 4,452,957
- Deustu – 4,171,359
- Barakaldo – 3,580,409
- Gurutzeta/Cruces – 3,519,419
- Areeta – 3,445,833
Access to the metro is provided by 'fosteritos', glass structures affectionately named after the architect who designed them, Norman Foster. These modern-looking tunnels stand attractive alongside the modern and innovative interior of the stations.
Large caverns of a 160m2 cross section were dug for stations, creating large open spaces, as opposed to the traditional sets of linked tunnels. For example, the ticket line is in the same space as the trains, for this purpose steel structures called 'mezzanines' have been built over the tracks. Trains are fully accessible by lifts and escalators. Materials such as steel and concrete have been used throughout.
Sarriko station won the 1998 Brunel Award for Railway Design. It is noticeably different from the rest of the stations in the network: in place of the standard 'fosterito', a vast glazed atrium pours natural light into the entire station, and the long, unbroken escalator ride to the ticket hall from street level gives a dramatic sense of character to the station.
Away from the main structures, the design company Akaba created the seating systems for the Metro, which subsequently won the Spanish National Industrial Design Prize from the Ministry of Science and Technology in November 2000. A distinctive signage system was created by Otl Aicher, which are responsible for the eye-catching masts bearing the Metro logo. The principal colours used are of white lettering on a red background for key information and black lettering for secondary details.
The Metro Bilbao uses train types of the series UT-500, UT-550 and UT-600, built by CAF. The company uses 24 trains of the first series, 13 of the second and 9 of the third. All vehicles are maintained and parked in Sopelana and Ariz.
The first 16 vehicles, which carry the numbers UT 501 to 516, were delivered by CAF and ABB in November 1995. Inside each car 2+2 seats are arranged respectively vis-à-vis in the colors of the Corporate design – red and grey. A set of 4 cars is 72.12-metre (236 ft 7+3⁄8 in) long, 3.85-metre (12 ft 7+5⁄8 in) high and 2.80-metre (9 ft 2+1⁄4 in) wide. This is especially wide for a train that uses narrow gauge, for example vehicles of the large profile Berlin U-Bahn are only 2.65-meter (8 ft 8+3⁄8 in) wide, and they use the normal gauge of 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+1⁄2 in).[relevant? ]
The metro, like the commuter railroads in the region, is electrified at 1500 volts OHLE. Each train has sixteen 180 kilowatt motors; together that yields 2880 kilowatts per train unit. The maximum speed is 80 kilometers per hour. A train can carry 712 people, with 144 seated and 568 standing (based upon six passengers standing per square meter).
The number of trains was increased after a renewed order in 1996, to a total of 24 trains with the numbers UT 517 until 524. For the newly constructed line 2, thirteen new trains were ordered from CAF and Adtranz (now parent company of ABB). These new series UT-550 trains were delivered in October 2001. This series offers improvements in energy efficiency and to the air-conditioning systems. These trains are able to climb the deep line 2 tunnel under the river.
Since 1998 automatic train protection, and automatic train operation are used. The latter implies that the train drivers must press solely a button, and the remainder of the train operation is done through the computer. This is to be seen as an initial stage for an entirely computer-controlled system.
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- "El cliente diario lleva a Metro Bilbao a alcanzar su récord histórico de viajeros". www.deia.eus. 11 January 2020. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
- "La Línea 3 del Metro se inaugurará en 2011 y unirá Matiko con el Casco Viejo". El Correo (in Spanish). 2007-02-21. Archived from the original on 2009-10-22. Retrieved 2010-02-04.
- García, Josu (2017-04-08). "Miles de personas dan la bienvenida a la Línea 3". El Correo (in Spanish). Retrieved 2021-04-01.
- FICHA Nº 24 Archived January 8, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
- La UPV pide la línea 6 del metro para unir Leioa con el Parque Tecnológico Deia Archived August 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- Metro de Barakaldo :: Toda la Informacion sobre la Linea 2 de Metro en Barakaldo
- La complejidad de las obras obligará a levantar las vías de Renfe para construir la nueva estación Deia Archived August 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- "Estación Intermodal De Urbinaga - Metroo". Archived from the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved October 29, 2010.
- Sestao fundirá el tren, el metro y el tranvía de la UPV en la estación de Urbinaga. El Correo
- El parking disuasorio de Andra Mari se abrirá en 2012. El Correo
- Ortuella plantea un gran parking para llevar el metro a la localidad Deia Archived November 22, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- Basauri elaborará un proyecto de estación intermodal para Sarratu Deia Archived November 22, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- Lakua estudiará la creación de una estación intermodal para Basauri . Deia. Noticias de Bizkaia Archived June 30, 2012, at archive.today
- Conexión Ferroviaria con el Aeropuerto de Bilbao | Bilbao en Construcción!
- Iñaki Azkuna: «El metro podría llegar a Rekalde desde Moyua». El Correo
- Bilbao - Los vecinos piden la Línea 3 hasta Rekalde - ADN.es Archived July 19, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- La línea 4 del metro se prolongará hasta Deusto para conectar con el aeropuerto | País Vasco | elmundo.es
- "El Gobierno estudia llevar el metro desde Rekalde hasta Abandoibarra. El Correo". Archived from the original on 2010-01-07. Retrieved 2010-02-04.
- Se inician los estudios técnicos para construir las líneas 4 y 5 del metro a Usansolo y Rekalde Deia Archived August 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- "Entra en fase de estudio la Línea 5 del metro, que uniría Galdakao a la red actual. El Correo". Archived from the original on 2009-04-22. Retrieved 2010-02-04.
- Lakua anuncia para 2016 la llegada de la Línea 5 del metro a Galdakao y Usansolo - GARA
- http://www.deia.com/es/impresa/2006/04/23/bizkaia/herrialdeak/241839.php[permanent dead link]
- Billetes y abonos
- El Gizatrans ofrecerá desde enero descuentos de hasta el 50% a familias numerosas. El Correo
- "Datos de viajeros y viajeras | Metro Bilbao". www.metrobilbao.eus. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
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