Opening on Wednesday 29 April.
Just in time for the launch of Expo 2015 two days later, Milan’s M5 lilac line will open five new stations on Wednesday 29 April.
The fully automatic line with its driverless trains will then connect Bignami in the far north of the city with the Meazza stadium, home of AC Milan, in 26 minutes, with new stops at Domodossola, Lotto, Segesta, S. Siro Ippodromo and San Siro Stadio in the south-east.
To keep the disturbance to a minimum while the city is flooded with Expo visitors, an intermediate stretch will be completed later. Until October, trains will pass without stopping through five more stations still under construction: Monumentale, Cenisio, Gerusalemme, Tre Torri and Portello.
Two of this week’s new stations are particularly important: Lotto will provide a connection with the M1 red line, while Domodossola will connect with the regional Trenord service, including the strategic route to Malpensa airport, as well as suburban lines S3 and S4.
Since the lilac line already has interchanges with the yellow line M3 at Zara and with green line M2, the national Trenitalia network, Trenord and another eight suburban lines at Garibaldi, it will radically improve city transit.
Once completed, the lilac line will boast a total of 19 stations along a total length of just under 13 km. In the future, extensions are planned in both directions, from Bignami north to Monza Bettola, and from S. Siro west as far as Settimo Milanese.
Meanwhile, city hall has announced that the project for commercial sponsoring of metro stations has signed its first contract. For a contribution of €180,000, Mediaset Premium has won the right to have the final station of the line officially called “S. Siro Stadio Premium Mediaset” on all signs. Valid for a year, and with an option to renew for a further year, the contract also allows Mediaset – the media arm of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s holding company Fininvest, which is now negotiating the sale of its football team AC Milan – to use the same slogan on all conventional advertising in the station.
An unusual safety measure will be put into play at the end of matches at S. Siro grounds: turnstiles will limit access to the station to 500 passengers at a time, with a timed block of three minutes to keep the pedestrian flow from building up too fast.
Along with the new underground lines, surface public transport – buses and trams – have already undergone considerable changes around the new stations. A new bus route 98 will connect Lotto and Famagusta, while the tram lines 16 and 19 will return to their original routes. Changes have also been made in other parts of the city, affecting lines 7, 42, 52, 77 and 79. Full details of all these changes are available on the ATM website.