My first impression towards Baku metro system was the modern outlook of different stations. The trains are not that long and quite traditional. I began to discover more and more about Baku metro when I tried to
1. Mix of traditional and modern design
Icherisheher metro station is a good example of it. It is in a pyramid shape when you look from outside. It is luminous at night and I love the purple colour of it. I think it is modern when you look at this station or May 28 metro station.
Yet, when you look closer into the entrance of Icherisheher metro station, the ceiling of the entrance is really traditional. It looks like a carpet. The patterns on the carpet are so traditional with Octagonal starts. As told by my Azeri friend, the word “Azerbaijan” is combined of 10 letters in Azeri but there are 8 letters in Arabic. Therefore, the star represents Azerbaijan. In the middle of the carpet, there is the fortress and wall representing the old city right next to the station. There are two lions and a bull on the top of the fortress and both lions and bull are very important symbols in ancient Azerbaijan during Safavid dynasty. Lions personifies the sun while the eternally fighting bull personifies the Earth. When we took the escalators down to the platform, there is a sculpture of the old city too.
From public transportation to history and culture of Azerbaijan, there are so many things for us to discover by observing our surroundings in a detailed way.
2. Music at every stop
It is so interesting and unique that there will be different music(melody) playing at every stop of the train. For example, “Baki geceleri” by Alakbar Taghiyeev is playing when the train stops at “Icerisheher” station.
3. Long escalator
Built in the Soviet period, the metro station was cut deep and there are long escalators in different stations. It may take you 2-3 minutes to get to the platform. For me, it takes time to adapt it as the escalators in Hong Kong metro station are usually not long.
4. Only tap the card when you enter the station
It is different from the metro I used in other countries before. I do not have to tap the card when I exit the station. I just have to use “Baki KART”, which is a card for paying fares on trains and new buses(red buses), when I get in the station and it will automatically deduct 0.2 AZN from your card (for all the stations of metro lines). Therefore, the escalators going up and down are separated.
5. Staff holding a card of red circle stops people from rushing into the train
During the rush hour, a staff holding a card of red circle with white edge stands in front of the train door on the platform and stops people from rushing into the train. There are something similar to this in Hong Kong, China and Japan too.
As it is not allowed to take photos inside the metro, most of the photos above were found from the internet and the links were posted below every photos.
Wing Ki Mak, Hong Kong