The Yerevan Metro (Armenian: Երեւանի մետրոպոլիտեն, Yerevani metropoliten; since December 1999, Կարեն Դեմիրճյանի անվան Երեւանի մետրոպոլիտեն (Karen Demirchyani anvan Yerevani metropoliten), the Karen Demirchyan Yerevan Metro) is a rapid transit system that serves the capital of Armenia, Yerevan. The system was launched in 1981 and like most former Soviet Metros, its stations are very deep (20-70 meters underground) and intricately decorated with national motifs. The metro runs on a 13.4 kilometres (8.3 mi) line and currently serves 10 active stations. The use of the system by the city's population has dramatically declined in recent years as a result of the introduction of a new minibus system.
Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, experienced substantial growth during the postwar period when it was the capital of the Armenian SSR. Due to the city's very uneven landscape only an underground system could meet all of the criteria to efficiently move large numbers of people around the city. The first plans for a rapid transit system began to be formed in the late 1960s, under the auspice of Anton Kochinyan, then the 1st secretary of the Communist Party of Armenia. Initially this was centred on a rapid tram system, rather than a full underground metro system. During this time, the Soviet City Engineering Planning Department clearly stated that a Metro system would only be awarded to cities with more than a population of one million, which Yerevan lacked at the start of construction (1972). Nevertheless, all of the tunnels in which the tram lines were to be installed were built to a design that would have allowed a potential conversion into a full underground metro system.