Warsaw announces 56m zloty for “pre-design” of fourth metro line ahead of local elections

Warsaw city council has approved 56 million zloty (€13 million) for “pre-design” work on a fourth metro line. Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski, who is standing for reelection next month, says a contract will be signed next week.

However, his announcement has been criticised as a stunt by one of his rivals, who accuses the mayor of digging up long-forgotten investment plans ahead of the 7 April local elections.

Nie zwalniamy tempa i startujemy z przygotowaniami do M4! W ubiegłym tygodniu podpisaliśmy umowę na zaprojektowanie trzeciej linii metra. A na dzisiejszej sesji Rada Miasta przyznała 56 mln zł na prace przedprojektowe dla linii M4. Ta nitka metra będzie miała długość 26 km,… pic.twitter.com/fjHzZTFhpj

— Rafał Trzaskowski (@trzaskowski_) March 14, 2024

According to the current plans, the fourth metro line will be 26 kilometres long and connect Tarchomin in the north of the city with the southern district of Wilanów. The route will have 23 stations and, according to city hall estimates, pre-design work should be complete by 2028.

“Modern and convenient public transport is an absolute priority for us,” said Trzaskowski. “During this term alone, we have put 11 metro stations into operation, and three more stations are currently under construction on the M2 [second metro] line.”

He added that, as well as now approving funds for preliminary work on the fourth line, the city last week signed an agreement for design work on the third line. City hall plans to launch a tender for the pre-design work for the entire planned fourth metro line later this month.

Last year, Trzaskowski unveiled plans to more than double the size of Warsaw’s metro system by 2050, with the ambition to build three more metro lines in addition to the existing two.

Warsaw has unveiled plans to more than double the size of its metro system by 2050, with the current two lines expanding to five.

The number of stations would rise from 39 to 103, with over half of Varsovians living within 1 km of one (up from 28% now) https://t.co/Lh9Doi25Uz

— Notes from Poland 🇵🇱 (@notesfrompoland) February 14, 2023

Trzaskowski’s main challenger in next month’s election, Tobiasz Bocheński of Law and Justice (PiS), called the mayor’s latest announcement “incredible”.

“Suddenly, investments that were forgotten about and put deep in a drawer are being pulled out, and we are informed that they are about to happen,” wrote Bocheński, adding that “promises were made years ago and nothing has happened since then”.

In an interview with Notes from Poland published today, Bocheński noted that promised construction work has not even yet begun on the third metro line and said that expansion of the system would be a priority for him if he wins office.

We spoke with @TABochenski, PiS’s candidate for Warsaw mayor in next month’s local elections.

He emphasised a focus on pragmatic, local issues rather than the „ideological quarrels” that he believes played a role in PiS losing power nationally last year https://t.co/w8LBDnqtda

— Notes from Poland 🇵🇱 (@notesfrompoland) March 15, 2024

Another mayoral candidate, Magda Biejat of The Left (Lewica), meanwhile, believes that public transport in Warsaw could be more efficient if more investments were made in tram lines rather than the metro.

“The metro is a hot topic, we love it and use it every day, but we want the new lines to serve the next generation of residents,” Biejat said earlier this month, quoted by Gazeta Wyborcza daily.

She argued that over 5 million zloty would be spent on 8 kilometres of the third metro line by 2032 whereas three new tram lines 14 kilometres in length could be built by 2028 for less than 1.2 billion zloty.

Meanwhile, in response to Trzaskowski’s latest announcements, a left-wing city council candidate, Jan Mencwel, published an ironic photo showing the city of the future with the caption: “Warsaw, if elections were held every year”.

Po dzisiejszych deklaracjach władz miasta, że jednak są pieniądze na drogę rowerową na Puławskiej oraz na projektowanie M4, pozostaje tylko polecieć klasykiem. pic.twitter.com/sfqFoBKEuN

— Jan Mencwel (@JanMencwel) March 14, 2024

Notes from Poland is run by a small editorial team and published by an independent, non-profit foundation that is funded through donations from our readers. We cannot do what we do without your support.

Alicja Ptak is senior editor at Notes from Poland and a multimedia journalist. She previously worked for Reuters.

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