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Public transport in Kiev

Kiev Metro

News: 3 new Metro stations have been opened to the blue line: Demiivska, Golosievska and Vasylkivska continuing from Libidskaya.

Kiev metro (subway) started working in 1960. Presently there are three lines and 43 stations. The left and right banks of Kiev are connected through the Metro bridge. Because the road traffic in Kiev is so heavy, metro is often the fastest and most convenient mode of transport. It can, however, be quite unpleasant during rush hours as it gets so crowded. That is usually between 7 and 8 am and 5 and 6pm.

The metro works from 6 am to 12 pm daily. You need to purchase either a small green token for 1.70 UAH  or a monthly card  for 80 UAH  available at each metro station.  The tokens are valid for one ride but include changing lanes. When you get to the platform by stairs or on the escalators, there are tables with names of stations to which the train continues on each side. That way you find out on which side your train will come. The names and directions are written in cyrillic, the staff does not speak English so rely on your map.

click to open larger image in a new window

Kiev Trams and trolleybuses
Trams are probably the least used mode of transport in the city. Although there are still tracks in the city center, there are only two working lines - one on each bank. They are mainly used by commuters to the suburbs. Trolleybuses are slowly disappearing and those that you can see in Kiev are really the dinosaurs of transportation - they are old, squeaky and very slow. If you want to have a ride for fun, you can hop on and buy a ticket from a conductor. It will cost you 2.00 Hyrvnia to go either by tram or trolleybus.You can also buy a monthly pass for 17 UAH from street kiosks or from the conductor on board. If you regularly use both trolleybus and metro then buy a unified monthly pass for 37 UAH.

Kiev buses
The city invests into modernization and especially in the city center you can see nice new buses connecting Kreshatyk and Pecherskaya Lavra for example. The fare is about 1.50 UAH.

The yellow, white or green minibuses racing all over Kiev are called Marshrutkas (Marshutnie taxi). They can be stopped pretty much anywhere and they have a good network covering all areas of the city. The fare is between 2.25 to 3.00 UAH which you pay to the driver or a conductor (usually the driver's wife, child or buddy). They are quite unpredictable in all aspects though. Sometimes the driver will be nice and stop where you ask him to, sometimes he will rudely mumble something and go to the next stop. If the bus is full he won't stop at all. Ride on a marshrutka is cheap, quick and fun unless you go in rush hour when road traffic is bad. It is also quite an experience in winter when every passenger is twice his regular size thanks to an enormous fur coat and people are eager to get home. The bus is tiny and you will have to fight your way in and out with elbows and whatever else it takes. Basically, if you are a tourist, take a marsrutka with a friend who knows his way around or else you may not end up where you wanted to. You can also check  routes  (only Russia and Ukrainian).

Because marshrutka is probably something you have never seen before, here is a little bit about the phenomenon. "Route taxicabs" are an invention of the Soviet Union. They were supposed to be an additional transportation for night hours or so but despite the highly irregular schedules and routes, they became very popular and stayed with us even after the fall of USSR. They can be seen in Russia, Ukraine and other CIS countries. In the early days of marshrutkas, they were an expensive substitution for cheaper but uncomfortable and slow municipal transport. In the nineties, the auto manufacturer GAZ introduced the first mass produced Russian minibus, GAZelle. The minibus could carry up to 15 passengers and cost around 8000 USD. Many private entrepreneurs bought one and started the service because at that time no license was needed. Later, authorities got a bit tougher on safety and licensing requirements - for example mandatory free transportation of a certain number of disabled passengers or in route licensing balancing a number of lucrative routes with compulsory coverage of several not-so-profitable ones. Now the most common model in Kiev is the yellow Bogdan minibus and the price is no luxury. Marshrutkas became common city transportation.

A fancy marshrutka

Category: English | Added by: SerijTerle (22.09.2011)
Views: 912 | Comments: 3 | Rating: 0.0/0
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