Kyiv could have had its own metro right after London.
It has been found that there was a proposal for an underground railway as early as 1884.
However that proposal did not call for a subway, like the ones in the United States or Britain, but rather for an underground railway tunnel.
The proposal called for rails on the waterfront and then, a tunnel cut-through from just below Poshtova Ploscha (Postal Square) to Bessarabka, the proposed site for the main passenger railway station.
Should the project have been completed, the railway station on the other side of Lybid' River would have been converted to a freight terminal.
After many heated debates, the City Duma decided against the project.
Another real possibility for a metro in Kyiv was in September 1916, when the director of the Kyiv division of the Russian-American Trading Company asked the city leader to improve the transportation within the city.
He wrote, "The recent development of Kyiv has been very rapid, in regard to both the population and trade increase.
Kyiv's unique conditions, sleeping quarters being far from the commercial core, very expensive apartments in the city centre, the urban sprawl and the city's hilly terrain - everything calls for a cheap, reliable, fast and safe, in all respects, mode of transportation.
The Kyiv city tram does not meet any of these requirements.
Its defects are known far and wide, and result from the tram network's inability to stay up-to-date with the rapid city development.
Increasing the number of cars on main streets will cause the halt of street traffic, and the increase in tram speed will have negative safety impacts on both pedestrians and passengers.
The only possible solution to the current situation is the gradual move of above-ground transit underground, beginning with the main streets."
On December 7, 1916, assistant city head Feyodor Burchak provided an answer to the Russian-American Trading Company, "The city council has discussed in detail the proposal of the Trading Company and agreed to using American investments for establishing a rapid means transportation in the city of Kyiv with the involvement of the City government in the possible usage of American capital.
The city government has rejected the idea of using public funds for this project."
This is not what the Trading Company had expected for an answer.
It hoped to get the project funded by public means.
However, it did not decline to promote this further and in January 1917, it requested Kyiv's statistical information.
It planned to invite American investors to build a Metro in Kyiv.
These were the first steps toward the building of the Kyiv Metro.
However, because of the 1917 revolution, no further progress was made.
Still, in June of next year, after a catastrophic explosion of shells at Zverinits (they were located in the triangle between the modern-day streets of Bastinnaya and Kikvidze) talk about a metro resumed.
The governor of the Ukrainian State, Pavlo Skoropadskiy, wanted to transform Zverinets into a prominent city neighborhood.
He wanted to: build a government center together with a Governor's mansion, place the various divisions of the Academy of Sciences, build a central marketplace, equipped with top-of-the-line technology, which would provide the city with various goods and foodstuffs.
After a meeting with the assistant of the Minister of Transportation (MPS), Chubinskiy, a reporter from the "Vozrozhdenie" newspaper wrote, "Cars, both freight and passenger, much better than the ones on the Mikhailovskiy Assent (a reference to the Funicular) will bring passengers and freight from the bank of the Dnepr River to Zverinets or to Kyiv.
The following will be built: a waterway, a sewer, a power plant and a tram, which currently plays a very important role.
Also, it is planned to build streetcars, not only above ground, like the existing ones, but also below-ground, which are called the Metropolitan. Zverinets' and Kyiv's land, where the Metropolitan will go, is the best for this construction.
Kyiv is located on hills and flats, which were created by nature itself, and Metropolitain, coming out of a tunnel-hill to a flatland and back into a tunnel, will carry everything and everyone from Bessarabka to Demievka, from Zverinets, to Lukyanovka, from the Waterfront or Proreznaya to the other bank of Dnepr and the Slobodka neighborhood."
However, these bright plans would not be realized as soon as it was hoped, as on December 14, 1918, the control of the city was transferred from Governor Skoropadskiy to Directoria Simon Petlura.
Nearly twenty hears had passed, when the plans of a Kyiv Metro started moving from paper to reality.
On July 9, 1936, the Presidium of the Kyiv City Council looked at a project by Papazov, a graduate of the Moscow University of Transport Engineering, called, "The Project of the Kyiv Metro."
The meeting minutes stated that, "the author successfully resolved one of the problems of reconstruction of the city of Kyiv and establishment of intra-city transportation and also answered various practical questions pertaining to the Metro plan."
The engineer received a bonus of 1000 rubles for this project from the City of Kyiv.
Rumors spread about Metro construction and Kyiv started receiving letters from various mountain and mine specialists with offers of help. The City Council declined these offers, but in 1938 started preparatory work, which was stopped by World War II.
In August 1949, the "Kyivmetrostroi" agency started building the Kyiv Metro.
The first section of the Svyatoshinsko-Brovarskaya Line (5.2 km) from "Vokzalnaya" (Train Station) to "Dnepr" was put into operation on November 6, 1960.
At the time, the cars were serviced by the temporary depot "Dnepr," and the station itself had a very interesting design.
The photographs of the station, as it was in 1960 can be seen here.
In 1963, a western section (3.4 km) was put into operation with two stations.
During construction, concrete was used for tunnel walls.
When in 1965, the Metro "stepped over" the Dnepr River on a two-level Metrobridge to the left bank, the "Darnitsa" Depot was also put into operation.
From June 1, 1970, the number of cars has been increased.
Instead of 3-car trains, the line was increased to 4-car trains.
From 1972, 5-car trains are used. In 1987, a cut-in station, called "Leninskaya," now "Teatralnaya"(Theater) Station, was built between the "Universitet" (University) Station and the "Kreschatik" Station.
This station was intended as a transfer station to the Siretsko-Pecherskaya Line. In the fall of 2000, construction commenced on a 3 km section of the Svyanoshinkso-Brovarskaya line in the western direction.
Even though the work was being done quickly, - two stations were being built at the same time, "Prospekt Pobedi" (Victory Avenue) and "Prospekt Palladina" (also known as "Zhitomirskaya" and "Akademgorodok"(Academic City) - there were breaks because of financial problems, which prompted numerous work stoppages.
From January 14, 2001 to December 25, 2002, a part of Prospekt Pobedi was closed to auto traffic for construction.
On May 24, 2003, the section from "Svyatoshin" to "Akademgorodok" was put into operation.
Currently, the line has 18 stations, uses 260 cars and is routed from the west to the east of the city.
The line's length is 23 km, and travel time is 38.5 minutes.
In 1971, the construction of the first section of the line commenced.
In December 1976, The first section of the line, (2.3 km) from "Ploschad' Oktyabr'skoi Revolutsii" (October Revolution Square), now "Maidan Nezalezhnosti" (Independence Square), to "Krasnaya Ploschad'" (Red Square), now "Kontraktova Ploscha."
In six years, the Northern section of the line was built, which connected the City Centre to the Obolon' Neighborhood.
Also, the Obolon' Depot was put into operation.
The construction of the southern section of the line was stopped in 1984.
Only 4 of the 7 planned stations were built.
This is, perhaps, due to the need to cross the River Lybid', which flows underground at this location.
According to some unconfirmed sources, the tunnel was completed, but flooded.
Currently, the line has 12 stations, with 187 cars. The length of the line is 13 km, and travel time is 22.5 minutes.
In 1981, the groundbreaking for construction of the Kyiv Metro's third line took place.
On December 31, 1989, the first 2.1 km section of the Syretsko-Pecherskaya line was put into operation.
The line went from "Zolotie Vorota" (Golden Gate) Station to "Mechnikova" (now "Klovskaya") Station.
Construction of the southwestern part of the line, which crosses the Dnepr River via the Southern Bridge, was completed in 1994.
"Pecherskaya" Station, which was under construction since 1989, opened to passengers in 1997.
In 1996, the first northwestern section of the line was put into operation.
The section had two stations, one of which is still not open and is in a semi-abandoned state, because it does not have an exit to the surface.
After several changes in the opening date (October 14, 1999, December 30, 1999), Kyiv Metro finally opened its 40th station "Dorogozhichi" on March 30, 2000.
Currently, the line has 13 stations, and uses 122 cars. The line's length is 20.5 km. Travel time is 30 minutes.
Since 2005 the fourth line began built. Not undergruond constructions but parts of station on the bridge.
| Currently, the total length of the Metro is 60 km, with 43 stations.
Two depots ("Darnitsa" and "Obolon") serve three lines.
Syretsko-Pecherskaya line does not have its own depot, even though it has been under construction for over ten years.
Small maintenance is performed at the end of the line in the "Kharkovskaya" Station pit tracks, while more serious ones are performed at the "Obolon" depot (the new cars for this line are assembled in the "Darnitsa" Depot.).
Photos from the future site of "Bortnichi" Depot can be seen here.
A plan for the fourth line is in the works.
Construction is expected to begin by 2010.
The project for the line, from Zhulyani (one of Kyiv's airports) to Voskresenka and Troyeschena, was ready 20 years ago.
However, the cost for another bridge across Dnepr and Desenka Rivers, as well as the Rusanovski Sadi was estimated at about $500 million.
Because of that, the fourth line in Kyiv will not reach the left bank of Dnepr any time soon.
There was a project, which called for "Pridneprovskaya" (Near Dnepr) Line to be built.
The line was to go next to the Dnepr River from the residential neighborhood of Troeschina, south to "Poznyaki" ("Poznyaki" Station was even built as a transfer station).
This plan will not be competed any time in the near future.
The city administration had many debates over the feasibility of this line.
It was decided to build a "fast tram" line, which is much cheaper than the Metro.
The tram line was started, and the first segment was completed.
However, further progress stalled.
The Construction Plan for the Kyiv Metro until 2010 (Plan published in 2000):
||- put into operation the second exit for the «Darnitsa» Station;
||- open a section on the Svyatoshinsko-Brovarska Line, from «Svyatoshin» Station to «Prospekt Palladina» Station (3.4 km).
||- put into operation the second exit for the «Vokzalna» Station;
||- open «L'vivska Brama» Station of the Syretsko-Pecherska Line;
||- open a section on the Syretsko-Pecherska Line from «Dorogozhichi» Station to «Syretska» Station (1.2 km) as well as the «Bortnichi» Depot;
||- open a section on the Kurenivsko-Chervonoarmiys'ska Line from «Lybidska» Station to «Vasilkivska» Station (3.5 km);
||- open a section on the Kurenivsvko-Chervonoarmiys'ska Line from "Vasilksiska" Station to "Ulitsa Trutenka" Station (1.2 km) as well as the "Teremki" Depot;
||- open a section on the Syretsko-Pecherska Line from «Syretska» Station ot «Vynogradar» Station as well as the "Vynogradar" Depot;
||- open a section of the Podilsko-Vosrkesenska (fourth) Line from «Glybochinska» Station to «Vokzalna» Station (3.5 km);
The construction plan for the Kyiv Metro (2004 Edition):
||- open a section on the Syretsko-Pecherska Line from «Dorogozhichi» Station to «Syretska» Station;
||- open a section on the Syretsko-Pecherska Line from «Kharkivska» Station to «Borispilska» Station;
||- open a section on the Syretsko-Pecherska Line from «Borispilska» Station to «DVRZ» Station as well as a section on the Kurenivsko-Chervonoarmiys'ska Line from «Lybidska» Station to «Goloseevska» Station;
||- open a section on the Kurenivsko-Chervonoarmiys'ska Line from «Goloseevska» Station to «Expotsentr» Station;
||There are currently no set due dates for the Podilsko-Voskresenska nor the Livoberezhna (Left Bank) Lines.