On March 1, the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and the Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin have solemnly launched the Big Circle Line (Line 11) of the Moscow Metro, one of the most prominent projects of the modern metro construction globally.
The longest metro circle line in the world was opened in stages – the last sections having been opened today. Now the 70-kilometer line has become a world record holder, 13 kilometers ahead of the previous leader, the Line 10 of the Beijing Subway.
The idea of building the BCL appeared back in Soviet times, but the project was not started for decades. The decision to begin the construction of the Big Circle Line was made by the Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin in 2011. Work has begun in November of the same year, and construction was completed in 2022. Thus, the longest circle metro line was built in record time for such a large – scale project in conditions of dense urban development – the construction took only 11 years. The first section was opened in 2018, and in December 2021, the longest section in the history of the Moscow Metro launched at the same time was opened: 20 km and 10 stations.
The last opened sections of the BCL included 9 stations in the north, south-east and south of the city: Maryina Roscha, Rizhskaya, Sokolniki, Tekstilsсhiki, Pechatniki, Nagatinskiy Zaton, Klenoviy Bulvar, Kashirskaya and Varshavskaya. The Big Circle Line has 31 stations in total. 24 of them provide 47 interchanges to the existing and future stations of the Moscow Metro, Moscow Central Circle, Moscow Central Diameters and suburban railway directions.
«Under the leadership of the Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin, we have successfully implemented one of the largest metro construction projects in the world – the Big Circle Line of the Moscow Metro. Now Moscow citizens can save up to 45 minutes a day on trips around the city, the BCL will give impetus to the development of the whole of Moscow for decades to come. We are expecting that highways of the city will be unloaded up to 15%, and metro lines – up to 25%. Passengers will have access to the most modern services, including the Moscow ticketing system recognized at international competitions, as well as the most modern Russian-made trains. The BCL was built taking into account the prospects for the development of Moscow for decades to come and has a large margin of carrying capacity», said Maksim Liksutov, the Deputy Mayor of Moscow for Transport.
The full launch of the Big Circle Line is the main transport event in the life of Moscow over the past 70 years, comparable in importance to the completing of the first Circle Line (Line 5) of the Moscow Metro. For Moscow, a 13-million megalopolis with massive commuting mobility, the issue of territorial connectivity and transport accessibility is a key one. In addition, many metro passenger routes pass through the city center – both on radial lines and the Circle Line. The BCL will completely change the transport infrastructure and ensure connection of different districts of the city: new metro stations have opened where the high-speed rail transport never existed. The BCL will allow passengers to build new convenient routes without entering the city center, which means it will relieve congestion on the rest of the metro lines.
The BCL will give a powerful boost to the development of the entire metropolis – both economically and socially. Former industrial zones, on the territory of which stations are being opened, become a center of attraction for investments and a point of development: there is an increase in trade, rent, small and medium-sized businesses, residential and commercial real estate is being built more actively, real estate is becoming more expensive by 15-20%. Thanks to the construction of new lines and the development of territories, workplaces are being created: the launch of the BCL has allowed to create more than 6 thousand new jobs only in the Moscow Metro, and in general, in the next few years, 100-150 thousand jobs may appear in the areas of attraction of new stations.
The BCL passengers will have access to all the latest and high-tech services of the Moscow Metro, including the most convenient payment methods. Two years in a row, in 2020 and 2021, the ticket system was recognized as the best smart ticketing program at the international Transport Ticketing Award. All turnstiles on the BCL will accept bank cards, and at two turnstiles in each lobby it will be possible to pay fare using Biometric Fare Payment System.
The Big Circle Line is one of the most popular metro lines, so the special attention is paid to the rolling stock. Only the most modern Russian trains run on the BCL, including the newest Moskva-2020 cars. They have wide doors, gangways, USB ports between seats and air conditioners with air disinfection system. One of the main advantages of the Moskva-2020 train is the latest passenger information system, which includes enlarged displays with a diagram of the metro line above the doors, information displays in consoles under the ceiling, a system of monitors on the walls, and also displays with interactive route planners. Moreover, the convenience of trips is provided by improved noise insulation and adaptive lighting, which changes the color temperature depending on the time of day. In 2021, the Moskva-2020 train has received the Red Dot Award: Product Design for the best design. The international jury unanimously gave him the highest rating in the Trains and Planes category.