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What like should the Metro of Vilnius be?

The metro system will consist of two intersecting lines and one circular track (see Fig. 1). The first 8 km section is best suited between Pilaitė and the city center. This is the easiest to install and most cost-effective route. If it is extended to Valakampiai, then the 1st line “Pilaitė-Valakampiai” would be formed. The second line would connect Vilnius Western bypass and Saulėtekis.

The circular route should begin at Tarandė and go between the National Stadium and “Akropolis”, by the White Bridge it should go over the first metro line and reach the railway station. From the station the route would go through “Vingis” park, “Parodų rūmai”, troughout Lazdynai, Karoliniškės, Viršuliškės, Justiniškės and Pašilaičiai microdistricts and again would reach Tarandė.

In order to reduce the number of cars in the city, it is necessary to create parking places near the entrances to the city and by the metro stations, and after the metro line is installed, the traffic in the Old Town should be completely forbidden during the day time.

Organization of the metro construction

The longest and most expensive phase of metro construction is political decision-making. The organization of the construction of the metro shall begin with the Metropolitan Act, which specifies the participants in the realization of this project, their functions, the type of financing and the form of ownership.

Knowing the financial situation of the state and the municipality of Vilnius, the Vilnius metro project can only be realized by private sector funds.

The municipalities of the largest cities of Lithuania would plan their own metro systems. The organizer of the object construction should be the Government. Partners - private business structures. The Government would appoint an institution responsible for the search of a strategic investor and for the establishment of the “Vilnius Metropolitan” AB - referred to as the founder; this institution would also address the possibility of EU support. The municipality should plan the routes and construction order. The business structures would finance, build and operate, and upon the expiration of the concession, would transfer metro to the state or would conclude a new contract.

The first section of Vilnius Metro — Pilaitė-White Bridge

Technically the easiest to install and most cost-effective first metro route is Pilaitė-White Bridge. It would begin at the right bank of Neris and would go through Žvėrynas, Karoliniškės, Viršuliškės, Justiniškės, and up until the eldership of Pilaitė. As the most frequent passenger flows occur at the junction of Justiniškių street and Laisvės avenue (most of the passengers work in the lower part of Neris, on the left bank of the river), it is proposed to begin the installation of metro from the route Pilaitė-White Bridge.

• The length of the first phase of construction route - 8 km.
• Number of stations on the route - 8.
• The longest distance between stations - 1,59 km.
• The shortest distance between stations - 0,94 km.
• The average distance between stations - 1,01 km.

Current and predicted passenger flows

According to the results of the observation on 31 of April 2009, it was found that 205,594 trips were carried out on various vehicles per day on Narbuto Street between the Press Room and the roundabout by the University of Educational Sciences. Given the rising economy, population growth, increase of the number of trips due to the installation of metro and the connection between roads Pilaitė-Rykantai, and the installation of a western bypass, the number of travels can increase to 294 398 per day.

The global experience shows that one of the three travels in cities are being carried out by metro, therefore it is concluded that around 100 000 people will use the metro of this route during one day.

Investments and financing

Taking into account that the local government is not able to finance this project, it is proposed to implement the project by attracting investors, financiers (borrowed capital). The implementation of the project requires such distribution of funds:

• Private and institutional investors - EUR 90 mln.
• Loan - EUR 259 mln.
• EU support or state dotation - EUR 102 mln.

The cost of 1 kilometer of the first metro route Pilaitė-Centras

Construction of metro line (900 m) EUR 15 mln.
Construction of metro line (100 m) EUR 5 mln.
Metro system equipment (1000 m): rolling stock, telecommunication networks, power grids, control system, elevators and escalators, ventilation, fire system, drainage system, ticket sales and inspection equipment EUR 28 mln.
Rails (1000 m) EUR 5 mln.
Unforeseen expenses (1000 m) EUR 3 mln.
Total EUR 56 mln.

Predicted results of activity

The income is planned to be collected from passenger tickets, advertising and rental costs of the free area of stations. Ticket prices would be the same as for public transport at that time. Already in the first year, it is planned collect EUR 35,6 mln of income. Estimated operating expenses reach EUR 17,2 mln and loan with interest payment reaches EUR 37,4 mln. The planned profit reaches EUR 3.16 mln. If the popularity of the metro and its influence on urban development increases, then the passenger flows will increase as well. With the growth of passenger flows, the revenue will grow as well, and in the course of 20 years, it is planned to receive a profit of EUR 219 mln.

Results of the whole project:
• For financiers - fixed 5% interest.
• Within 20 years of operation, the state would receive tax and social-economic benefits from the concessionaire. After 20 years, when the concession contract expires, the metro would belong to the state.

Vilnius Metro Layouts

The model of Kernavė cars’ and metro bridge over the Neris River depicts one of the most interesting transport nods in the capital with a bridge over the Neris River. Near the bridge you can see the two-level metro station, the intersection of the first metro line (Pilaitė-Centras) and the second metro line (Pašilaičiai-Railway station-Lazdynai-Pašilaičiai).

The two-story Kernavė Bridge connects J. Tumo-Vaižganto Street with the newly planned Kernavė Street through the tunnel under the Konstitucijos Avenue. The lower floor of the bridge is a truss part for metro trains that will run on the second route - roundabout. The top floor of the bridge is for street transport and pedestrians.

The transport node in the layout is depicted looking from the White Bridge to Geležinio Vilko Street. The layout scale M 1:87.

Currently, the layout is exhibited at the Exposition prepared by “Metro Sąjūdis” to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the idea of a metro.

Another layout depicts the solutions of the Railway Station and the transport node. The supposed metro station would serve the circular route. The 4-meter width and 5-meter length layout is displayed in the building of the Vilnius Railway Station.


The discussion over the installation of the new public transport system in Vilnius has already been going on for four decades. The public debate revealed that the creation of a metro is not so much a technical or financial issue but a more political issue and it is very significant to make a political decision on this issue. Therefore, the discussion on the metro issue has been transferred to political institutions: The Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, the Government, and the Vilnius City Municipality.

Almost all parties’ leaders, several ministers, heads of most associations, a number of prominent representatives of the scientific and public community publicly supported this concept of the development of public transport and its type of implementation.

After changing the composition of the Vilnius City Council and a part of the members of the Seimas having expressed their desire to join the Metro Idea Support Group, the distribution of new political forces will be clarified and publicized.

A united support for metro idea of all layers of society will help to attract foreign investors and their international corporations engaged in metro business in their support.

Support of metro idea in the Seimas

Even in 2008-2012 The Metro Idea Support Group was formed at the Seimas, which united 72 Seimas members from different parties (Fig. 3). For the 2012-2016 term of office in the Seimas, about 100 parliamentarians have already expressed their support for this idea (Fig. 4). In the present Seimas, the metro group is formed (Fig. 2). So far 41 members of the Seimas has expressed the desire to belong to this group.

However, support was more than enough, since on 8 of November 2018 The Law on the Development of the Metropolitan Railway System was adopted. 111 Members of the Seimas voted for the adoption of the Law on the Development of the Metropolitan Railway with the supplements by the President, 4 abstentions and no votes against. A month ago, another wording of the law was adopted, which was subsequently supplemented and corrected by the Presidency, and therefore was re-voted.

Five members of the Seimas representing different parties registered the Metropolitan Concession Law, since deliberations and discussions revealed that one of the reasons preventing the adoption of political decision to implement this important project is the lack and uncertainty of the legislative framework. The Seimas adopted the draft law in the summer of 2014, but the Presidency returned the law to be improved.

Law on the Development of the Metropolitan Railway

Taking into account the comments and recommendations set out in the Presidential Decree, a new legal act has already been adopted by the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania - the Metropolitan Railway Implementation Bill. On 9 of October 2018 the Seimas have adopted this law. After it is signed by the President, this law will distribute the functions and responsibilities between the state, the municipality and the strategic investor. If the municipality expresses its willingness to build a metro, it would be obliged to organize the implementation of such project, assure the financing of the project, implementation and operation of the installed metro system for the business structures under the concession contract. After its termination, the metro infrastructure would be transferred to the state.

Here is a summary of the Metropolitan Railway Implementation Bill.

  • The purpose and goal of the law is to create favorable legal and organizational conditions conducive to the implementation of the project of a new public transport system - metropolitan railway.
  • The law distributes functions between the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, municipalities where the metro project is being implemented, strategic investor and metro project implementation companies.
  • Municipalities where the metro project is being implemented are responsible for all territorial planning, preparation and validation of solutions, which are necessary for the establishment of the metro, in accordance with the procedure provided by the Law on Territorial Planning of the Republic of Lithuania.
  • The project implementation company, which requires a strategic investor, is responsible for financing, design, construction and operation of the metro.
  • Strategic investor is a legal entity selected in accordance with one of the concession law procedures and is responsible for organizing the financing of the whole project in accordance with the Articles of Incorporation of the company.
  • A project implementation company, to which the Government of the Republic of Lithuania or an institution authorized by it grants a concession in accordance with the procedure established by the laws of the Republic of Lithuania, shall be established and registered in accordance with the procedure established by laws.
  • The concession is granted by the municipality, which implements the project, or its authorized institution.
  • The concession contract is concluded in writing between the issuing institution acting on behalf of the Republic of Lithuania and the project implementation company in accordance with the procedure for concessions (concessionaire). The concession contract defines the rights, responsibilities and liabilities of the granting authority and the concessionaire (the project implementing company) in relation to the concession and project.
  • The granting of the concession gives the project implementing company the right to conclude project-related research, design, supply, construction, operation, maintenance and related assistive services contracts. The contracts related to the project can be concluded together with the concession contract or at any time later.
  • The part of the strategic investor's investment in the project implementing company is awarded by signing the shares of the project implementing company and / or other ways provided for by the law.
  • Participants of the project implementing company choose on their own how to finance their investments, including borrowing, issue of shares, and support from the European Union structural funds and / or other ways provided for by the law.
  • The Government of the Republic of Lithuania or an institution authorized by it may, but is not required to participate in the financing of the project by purchasing shares in the project implementing company or by granting land and buildings, the right to use land cavities, by means of budgetary funds established by the Law on the Management, Use and Disposition of State and Municipal Property, and by other laws.
  • The territory for the construction of metro infrastructure roads and objects is granted in accordance with the procedure established by legal acts regulating Territorial planning and Land Ownership and Land Use.
  • The State Territorial Planning and Construction Inspectorate under the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania carries out the supervision, in accordance with its competence, of the metro project implementing company of the proper performance of the responsibilities in constructing the metro objects.
  • The Law on the Development of the Metropolitan Railway does not provide for the Government of Lithuania any mandatory property or financial obligations to the project implementing company.

The Law on the Development of the Metropolitan Railway is not final political decision on how to solve the Vilnius transport problem. The law describes only the organizers and planners of such projects in the cities of Lithuania, as well as a way of implementation of such projects - concession.


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