The Amsterdam metro system
Amsterdam’s metro network is recent. The first metro lines were only laid in 1977. Most of those lines led to residential areas outside the centre, so there remained a need for a metro line that would pass under the city centre. That was a problem, because Amsterdam was built on swampy ground. Every building in the city centre is supported by wooden posts driven deep into the ground. A metro network would have to be tunnelled under those posts. That was - initially – considered technically and financially unfeasible.
Introducing the Noord/Zuidlijn
The decision was made to construct the Noord/Zuidlijn – a metro line running from the northern part of Amsterdam under the IJ River and down to Station Zuid. The actual construction work began in 2003. It was expected that the 9.2km-long line would be completed by 2011. That proved to be unfeasible. After the opening date having been postponed eight times, the metro line (operating as metro 52) officially opened on 22 July 2018.
In just 15 minutes, passengers can travel the 10km journey, with stops at Noorderpark Station on the north of the IJ River, Amsterdam Central, Rokin, Vijzelgracht, De Pijp and Europaplein. The efficient service runs every six minutes during the day and every seven to eight minutes in the evening. See the GVB’s dedicated site for further information on the Noord/Zuidlijn (in Dutch). 14 million passengers are expected to use the service each year.
Public artworks revealed
Eight public artworks were commissioned to be unveiled as part of the new metro stations. Commuters can spot a mosaic crocodile tiled into the wall at Station Rokin, film noir-style photographs interspersed with pink graphics at Station Europaplein, through to more playful pieces such as icons representing birds (including the Twitter logo and a bottle of Toilet Duck) on the platform at Station Noord.
Changes to Amsterdam's public transport network
Coinciding with the new metro service, many bus and tram routes have been changed as part of an ongoing project to improve the city's public transport. You can find a summary of the changes on the GVB website.