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Transport in Russia
October 17, 2006 14:17


Taking into account dead traffic jams in big cities in Russia, common, perhaps, for any cosmopolitan city, metro appears the most beneficial way to get where one needs with least time consumption. Besides, in Moscow, for instance, metro can deservedly be called one of the sightseeings, as some stations` architecture is unique and incredibly beautiful. Moscow metro is daily used by more than 9 million people, which is the highest index in the world. Metro open hours are 5.30 am – 1.30 am, but line to line passages close at 1.00 am. There are ticket offices at every station where passengers can acquire transport cards valid for 1 to 20 trips. Nowadays the price of one metro trip is 15 roubles (0.6 USD).


Overland transport can be an alternative to get to the desired place, but in big cities one may encounter problems during rush hours because of busy traffic. Most buses, trams and trolleybuses in Moscow are equipped with automatic check control systems, which means that one`d better care for tickets beforehand. Ticket offices are often located at bus and tram stops.

One trip in Moscow now costs 15 roubles (0.6 USD approximately), but the price, however varies widely from region to region. The fine for an unpaid trip is now around 100 roubles (3.8 USD), and passengers have the right to ask a controller to show the certificate permitting tickets check. Rush hours for overland transport are 7-10 am and 5-8 pm.


It can be a problem to find special taxi stations in big cities of Russia, including Moscow. They are generally located near railway stations and airports. The best way to catch a car is to hitchhike. Just lift your right hand and wait for a driver to stop. Official taxi cars are yellow; however, a lot of people in megapolises work by giving a lift for money. The price must be talked over before you get into the car and depends on your destination. Drivers will normally give you a price which is to some extent higher than the factual one. Do not hesitate to offer a smaller amount of money than the driver suggests. For instance, if the driver says your trip is going to cost you 350 roubles, feel free to offer 300 roubles. One problem one may face while catching a car is language barrier: not a lot of drivers speak English or any other foreign languages, both in big and provincial cities and towns. If you need an English-speaking driver only, you better call one of the taxi services in the city you’re visiting and ask for such driver keeping in mind, that this will be more expensive.


It is not recommended to use this type of public transport without an urgent need. Electric trains do not excel in cleanness and comfort level and often are full of loudly speaking sellers offering various trifles, beggars, and drunken people. During rush hours such trains are overcrowded more than any other kind of public transport. Besides, in the period from mid spring to mid autumn electric trains teem not only with daily crowds of passengers but also with people going to their dachas (country houses), which makes you feel like a sardine in a can. In Moscow electric trains system has several directions which take their start at main railway stations. It’s incredibly easy to get confused with timetables, routes and stops of electric trains. People who are used to travelling this way usually do not encounter any problems, but newcomers, especially non Russian-speaking ones, may get lost in lots of timetable information and find themselves in the remotest depth of provinces instead of the city centre.

MINIBUS TAXI (marshrutka)

So called “marshrutka” is one of the popular ways of travelling in Russia. Nowadays you will find this means of transport in almost every Russian city and town. Such popularity is based on cheap price, variety of routes and rapidity. Minibus taxis usually start their routes near railway and metro stations or at the end stops of buses, trams and trolleybuses. Nevertheless, it’s not necessary to go to the places listed above in order to catch a minibus taxi. If you know the number of the chosen route, you can catch it at any place – just lift your hand and the needed marshrutka will stop.

It’s customary to pay for your trip immediately after you get into the minibus taxi. The cost of one trip is around 20 roubles (0.8 USD) and money are handed directly to the driver. To prevent traumatism amongst passengers, the number of people in marshrutka mustn’t exceed the number of seats. However, some careless drivers in chase of financial profit pick up additional passengers and let them travel standing on their feet. If you can speak at least little Russian, do not hesitate to protest if you see the driver break this rule – maybe you will save health or even lives of a dozen people.

Lavrentyeva Natalya

Tags: transportation     

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