Baku Metro Information
Opened during the time of Soviet Union, the Baku Metro system serves the capital city of Azerbaijan, Baku. Running for nearly 48 years now, it is a rapid transit system that serves 25 stations over bi-directional tracks, made up of 3 lines over a span of 36.66 km. The only metro of Azerbaijan and only the 5th metro in the Soviet Union, the Baku Metro boasts of an annual ridership of 215.5 million (2014). Operated by the Baki Metropoliteni, the future for this metro system looks bright. With expansion plans already underway, there are plans of constructing approximately 76 new stations by the year 2030.
The map of Baku metro is an important guide for the nearly 482,000 passengers who rely on this mode of transport every day. To access the metro, passengers use a RFID card system to pay for their journeys. However, despite its usefulness, the Baku metro system doesn’t operate on a 24-hour basis. It’s available only from 6:00 AM to midnight.
One notable aspect of this system is the lack of certain amenities. For instance, the metro doesn’t offer air conditioning in its carriages, which might be inconvenient during warmer months. Another inconvenience is that passengers can’t walk between platforms. This means that commuters may need to exit and re-enter the system when switching lines. Adding to the list, the trains aren’t driverless, and the platforms don’t have screen doors, which are becoming common in modern subway systems for added safety.
The fare for a journey on the Baku Metro is relatively inexpensive, costing only 0.20 Azerbaijani Manat (AZN). If passengers have any inquiries or issues, they can contact the metro’s customer service directly at +994 12 4900 000. For more information, they can also visit the Baku Metro’s official website. Alternatively, the Baku Metro’s official Facebook page is another useful resource for updates and announcements.
The company is represented by an ‘M’ as its corporate logo, and it operates four distinct lines, each identified by a unique color: yellow, cyan, fuchsia, and green. The standard entry fee for the metro system is set at 20 qapik or cents of mana (equivalent to $0.12 USD). The operational hours of the system are from 6:00 AM to midnight.
Baku Metro Map
Map of Baku Metro showing various lines and stations. Click on the map to enlarge it or use the interactive map at http://metro.gov.az/en/
The Azerbaijan Subway System: Baku
Situated on the shores of the Caspian Sea, on the Absheron Peninsula, Baku serves as the capital of the Republic of Azerbaijan. This country, which secured its independence from the Soviet Union in 1990, shares the Caucasus Region with Georgia and Armenia. Despite its geographical location in Asia, Baku, with a population exceeding two million, has historical ties with Europe.
Baku is split into eleven districts and 48 municipalities, with a significant division between the Old City and its urban center, the former being declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, including landmarks like the Maiden Tower and the Shirvanshah Palace.
In the Soviet era, Baku played a vital role as an oil hub for the USSR. However, today, it is better known for its scientific and research endeavors. Its economy heavily relies on its harbor, as it hosts the International Maritime Trade Port of Baku, located in front of the Baku archipelago.
Baku experiences a semi-arid climate, with average temperatures of 26°C during summers and 4°C during winters.
The Baku Subway, also known as BakiMetropolitani in Azerbaijani, stands as a crucial rail transport system in the region and the first in an Islamic country. This rail network, inaugurated in 1967, comprises 25 stations spread over three lines, covering a total length of 36.63 kilometers.
Historically, the Russian firm Metrowagonmash supplied trains to the subway system. In 2005, it provided 43 trains, each with five wagons, although these were aging models. To modernize the fleet, these trains were replaced in 2014 with new 81-760/761 models developed in partnership with Metrowagonmash and French company Alstom.
In 2015, the Baku subway served 222 million passengers, averaging about 608.2 passengers daily. The system is managed by a public-private partnership, the Baku Metro Closed Joint-Stock Company.
Here are some key facts about the Baku Subway:
- Official name: BakiMetropolitani
- Total length: 36.63 kilometers
- Track width: 1435 mm
- Number of lines: 3
- Number of stations: 25
- Official website: www.metro.gov.az
- Operator: Baku Metro Closed Joint-Stock Company
- Average daily passengers: Approximately 608,200
- Date of establishment: November 6, 1967
The Baku Subway holds substantial significance for the Caucasus region. With the advent of industrialization in the Soviet Union, significant urban growth ensued, leading to the establishment of several subway systems, including those in Moscow and Leningrad.
The genesis of the Baku Subway project dates back to the 1930s but was halted due to the outbreak of World War II. Construction resumed in 1953, only to be stopped again shortly after. The project was revived in 1960, leading to the development of the first 12.4 km stretch of the system. The inauguration of the first five stations on the Baku Subway’s red line took place on November 6, 1967.
The system has since continued to expand. The red line was finalized in three stages, alongside the construction of the green line near the river. Political instability due to Azerbaijan’s independence from the USSR and subsequent conflict with Armenia during the Nagorno-Karabakh War delayed further station inaugurations until the late 1990s and early 2000s. The construction of the green line’s northern section was eventually completed, and the purple line’s two stations were introduced in 2016.
Lines and Stations
The BakuMetropolitani encompasses three lines with 25 stations, spanning a considerable distance. Baku’s complex geology necessitated the exploration of various construction methods. Consequently, four stations are above ground, while the majority are situated underground. Of the underground stations, many are considerably deep, with a smaller number being less so. Eighteen stations are equipped with escalators, while only two feature an elevator.
The Baku Metro system is constituted by the following lines:
- Red Line: This inaugural line of the Baku Metro opened on November 6, 1957, with five stations. Presently, it includes 13 stations across a total length of 18.80 kilometers, making it the longest metro line. The line terminates at Icherisheher and HaziAslanov stations, one of which is situated in Baku’s Old City.
- Green Line: The first two stations of Baku Metro’s second line, designated with a green color, were inaugurated in 1968. Initially, it spanned only 2.2 kilometers and comprised two stations, but it has since expanded to 15.54 kilometers with ten stations. The line concludes at Khatai and Darnagul stations.
- Purple Line: This line, introduced on April 19, 2016, marked a significant milestone in the history of the Baku Metro, having taken many years to construct. Originally, the line stretched 2.07 kilometers and included two stations, Avtovagzal and MemarAjami. At present, three more stations are being constructed.
Interconnections with Other Systems
Although the subway is the primary mode of transportation in Baku, other public transport systems are necessary to meet the city’s demands. While the Baku Metro is highly popular, buses also serve a significant portion of the city. Despite not being fully integrated with the Baku Subway, there is a card system compatible with both modes of transport. The fare for both the subway and the bus within the city is 0.20 qapik or $0.12 USD, but it can rise to 30 (0.17 USD) or 50 qapik (0.29 USD) for travel to suburban and outlying areas. The largest bus terminal in the city, Avtovaghzal, offers services to Georgia and Russia.
The city also features the Baku Funicular, an urban transport system established in 1960. It connects the Bahram Gur and Martyrs’ Lane stations. The funicular has undergone modernization since its inception, with its nearest subway station being Icherishehe on the red line.
Azerbaijan boasts another vital railway system, known as AzərbaycanDəmirYolları in Azeri or Azerbaijan Railways in English. This system is a legacy of the Soviet Railways. Baku hosts a significant central train station, the largest in the country, providing connectivity with the Hinterland. A railway is currently under construction to connect it with Georgia and Turkey. To access this central station, one must alight at the May 28 station on the red line.
Long-distance routes are serviced by lake transport as Baku is a port city bordering the Caspian Sea. Regular ferries depart from nearby harbors to other countries, particularly Turkmenistan.
Baku is served by the Baku Heydar Aliyev International Airport, the most important airport in Azerbaijan and the entire Caucasus region, and the country’s sixth international airport. Located approximately 20 kilometers northwest of the city, it does not yet have a connection with the Baku Subway. However, plans to expand the subway system include the construction of a new station for airport services.
To travel from Heydar Aliyev Airport to the Baku Subway, one must take a bus. The Airport Express bus line 16 operates every 30 minutes from Terminal 1 to the city. The closest subway station is SamadVurgun Garden, near the May 28 station on the red line. The Koroğlu station on the red line is also along the route, with the ticket cost being 0.30 Azeri manat ($0.17 USD).
Operating Hours and Frequency
The Baku Metro operates to a fixed schedule, opening at 6 AM and closing at midnight daily. However, train frequency varies based on the line.
Trains on the red line depart from Bakmil central station, which is situated at a line intersection, with a transfer available to the green line at 6:06 AM on weekdays. The last train departs this station at 12:05 AM. On weekends and holidays, the first train leaves at 6:01 AM, and the last at 11:09 PM. The frequency varies, with trains every three to six minutes during peak hours and up to ten minutes during less busy periods. At around 10 AM, the waiting time could extend to an hour. However, the frequency increases in the late afternoon.
The green line’s first train departs from Darnagul, its final station, at 6:32 AM, with the last train leaving at 11:53 PM on weekdays. On weekends and holidays, the first train departs at 7:06 AM, while the last train leaves at.
Fares, Tickets, and Cards
As of August 8, 2015, the Baku Metro standardized its ticket prices, replacing old cards with the modern BakiKart card. The cost of a single journey is 0.20 Azeri manat ($0.12 USD), independent of the distance travelled. These cards also consolidate metro and bus ticket prices as they can be used on BakuBus buses.
There are two options for purchasing the BakiKart. One option is designed for users intending to buy a BakiKart for unlimited rides for 45 days, which can be procured from ticket machines at metro stations at a cost of 2 manat ($1.16 USD). The second option is a limited-use BakiKart, good for up to four rides and priced the same as a single journey, 0.20 manat ($0.12 USD).
Topping up the card involves a simple procedure as indicated on the machines where it was originally purchased. The card must be scanned before passing through the turnstile, and you must verify your balance first. Children under seven travel for free.
Every public transportation system necessitates a set of regulations for proper functioning and coexistence of its users. Some of the rules implemented by the Baku subway include:
- Hand luggage or any item with a total size between 121 and 200 cm incurs an additional charge. Children’s luggage is exempted.
- A passenger is not permitted to carry more than two pieces of hand luggage.
- Any individual or object that falls into the tunnel must be reported. Passengers are expected to maintain distance from the tunnel when on the platform and not obstruct entry or exit.
- Priority seating is given to disabled individuals, the elderly, pregnant women, and children.
- Small pets and birds are permitted to travel in the subway.
The success of the Baku subway hinges on its future expansion plans. TaghiAhmadov, the head of the Baku subway, stated that more than 76 stations are set to be constructed by 2030. Currently, eight stations are under construction, with more to come.
The red line is set to extend its boundaries, adding two more stations after HaziAslanov and four more from Icherisheher to Badamdar, spanning a total length of 28.5 kilometers. The green line will undergo a complete transformation into a circular line, adding thirteen stations. This line will connect with all metro system stations, covering a total length of 41.8 kilometers.
Two more stations on the purple line were recently inaugurated, with plans to include ten additional stations. This line will connect Qaracukur with the green line extension, spanning 18.5 kilometers.
Later, two new lines will be launched: the blue and yellow lines. The blue line will traverse a nearly horizontal route, intersecting all other lines over a length of 16.3 kilometers. In contrast, the yellow line will cut through the system from north to south, intersecting all preceding lines over a span of 14.7 kilometers.
Before using the metro, ensure your card has sufficient funds to avoid unnecessary delays in purchasing a new one. Always be vigilant about your luggage to prevent theft and pay for luggage fees when required. Do not attempt to force your way into the metro, especially after the warning “Be cautious! Doors are closing.”
The Baku Metro is the largest urban transportation system in the Caucasus region. It has experienced two terrorist attacks in its history, which occurred during the Armenian-Azeri conflict on March 19 and July 3, 1994, resulting in the loss of 28 lives. On October 28, 1995, the Baku Metro faced one of the largest catastrophes in subway history when a train caught fire, killing 289 people and injuring 265 more. Koroğlu station was the first to offer WiFi and several telecom operators have already introduced 3G signals into the network.
Sights Accessible via the Baku Metro
Baku has steadily gained popularity as a tourist destination. In 2012, following the Eurovision Song Contest victory by Azeri singers Ell and Nikki, the city hosted the contest. More recently, in 2017, Baku held the Islamic Solidarity Games, featuring Muslim-majority countries from all continents. These events have allowed visitors to explore Baku’s major attractions, including:
- Maiden’s Tower: An ancient fortress located in Baku’s Old City and recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tower’s construction is thought to date back to the 12th century or earlier. The closest subway station is Sahi on the red line.
- Palace Complex of the Shirvanshahs: Also a UNESCO heritage site, this complex comprises a mosque, burial vault, mausoleum, and minaret. Construction began in 1411 and it’s accessible via the Icherisheher station on the red line.
- Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center: A center boasting Russian and Soviet style influences, it stands out with its stunning architectural design by Zaha Hadid. The center’s curved white shape can be reached via the Ganjlik station on the red line.
- Yanar Dag: A naturally occurring gas keeps a constant flame burning on a mountain near the Caspian Sea coast. This eternal flame draws many tourists, who can reach it via the KhaziAslanov station on the red line.