Metro (Subway) |
The network of public transportation in St. Petersburg is quite extensive. The
resources of public transportation are quite over-stretched, and most public transport is
not particularly user-friendly. Nonetheless, the metro is a very reliable and
cost-effective way of medium and long-distance transportation. It is also good for
journeys within the downtown area. For the shorter trips you are more likely to use
trams,buses and trolleybuses, or taxis (if you have money to spare). If you come on business or
with a large family, you might also consider renting a car or a van (with driver or
In this section you will find all necessary details on St. Petersburg's
If you book a tour at our agency, we shall provide you with transport pending
yourstay in St.Petersburg, Russia.
METRO (Subway, Underground)
St. Petersburg's metro is perhaps not as majestic as the one in Moscow, yet it looks
more impressive than most other subways and undergrounds of the world. It is also the
deepest subway in the world.
Despite the recent funding problems the metro is still the most reliable city
transport(particularly convenient for long-distance journeys). Normally trains arrive every 2-3
minutes, with slightly longer waiting periods early in the morning and late at night.
Notethe changes in the metro opening times: on average the stations open at about 5:45 am. and
close between midnight and 0:30 am. You can transfer from one line to the other until
St. Petersburg's metro has four lines which are numbered and assigned specific colors
on a metro map. Line 1 is red, Line 2 - blue, Line 3 - green and, finally, Line 4 is
yellow. You can find English language metro maps in most printed city guides.
Line 1 has the most beautiful stations and thus is perfect for
Note that some metro stations may be open according to individual schedules due
N.B.: The Northern edge of Line 1 was broken into two parts in December 1995, when
one of the tunnels collapsed. If you travel North-East from downtown by metro, you will
have to get from Lesnaya to Ploschad Muzhestva stations by a free shuttle bus #80.
St.Petersburg Metro Map
Try unique SubwayNavigator to find you route in St.Petersburg Metro!
Provided by SubwayNavigator
Unless you buy a monthly pass (called kartochka or proyezdnoy) you pay by tokens,
whichcan be purchased at special counters or booths located at every station. These booths also
sell monthly metro passes and passes which allow you to use all forms of public
transport(yediny or yedinaya kartochka).
There are two types of entry gates at metro stations, but the old ones quickly
disappear. New gates accept both tokens and monthly / 10 journey passes, while in the
pastyou had to use different gates.
To enter the metro do the following:
IF YOU USE TOKENS: place your token in the entry gate (with your right hand), wait
for the token to drop, then walk through, or
IF YOU HAVE A MONTHLY / 10 JOURNEY PASS: insert your monthly/10 journey plastic
pass into the slot of a gate. When the card is ejected, walk through. If you have
anyproblems with a gate, take your card to the member of station staff on duty, who
cannormally be found in a glass booth near the entry gates.
HISTORY OF ST. PETERSBURG METRO
The first plans to build a metro in St. Petersburg were drawn in 1899, but were
notimplemented due to the outbreak of WWI and then the Revolution of 1917. In 1941, 8
yearsafter the Moscow metro was opened, building was started on the Leningrad metro, but a few
months later the U.S.S.R. was forced to enter WWII. After the war the construction
workresumed and the first metro line (from Avtovo to Ploschad Vosstania) was opened
onNovember 15, 1955. Since then the metro network has grown to four lines with an average
of1.9 km (1.19 miles) between its 55 stations.
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The bus network of St. Petersburg is extensive, but can be a bit confusing for
aforeigner. Bus stops are marked by signs with the letter "A", which stands
foravtobus. Currently the city has several types of buses:
Regular buses now have conductors on board. You should pay for your ticket in cash
to a conductor or show him/her your monthly pass.
T-buses (Taxi-buses) accept cash only and no passes are valid on them. Since
theycharge a bit more than regular buses, T-buses rarely become crowded.
E-buses (Express buses) are normally coaches, which are supposed to be faster and
more comfortable. They accept cash only and can skip stops if nobody wants to board or
exit the bus (So be sure to tell the driver that you need the next stop). Currently
thesebuses are twice as expensive as the metro.
Plus there are vans, which are called "marshrutniye taksi"
or"marshrutki". These are more popular in the newer districts of the city. You
will be charged 2-3 rubles when you board a van, then just tell the drived, where you
wanthim to stop and drop you off. With the city's attempts to make public transport
morecost-effective, one should expect further spread of "marshrutki"
HISTORY OF ST. PETERESBURG BUSES
The first buses started running in St. Petersburg in 1907, when a local
entrepreneuropened two bus routes, which connected the city center with two of the city's major
Railway Stations. After the Revolution bus services resumed in Leningrad on December
24,1926. The first 5 buses started running from Palace Square to the Moscow Railway
Stationand the whole trip lasted for only 18-20 minutes.
Bus transportation in the city reached its peak in the 1980s. In the late 1980s there
were about 200 bus routes served by 3 200 buses. Every year 1 200 million passengers use
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One can call St. Petersburg a "City of Trams" because it has more trams than
any other city in the world. Tram stops are marked with signs above the tracks (with a
letter "T" on them).
Since January 1998 all trams have conductors on board. You should pay in cash to
aconductor, unless you have a monthly pass. Conductors normally wear special uniform
(and/or red arm bands). They check whether everybody has paid and sell tickets to those
who need them. Don't be surprised to see an occasional kontrolyor - inspector, who might
ask you to show your ticket.
HISTORY OF ST. PETERSBURG TRAMS
The first tram to be seen in St. Petersburg was built and tested by engineer Fiodor
A.Pirotskiy in 1880 (In St. Petersburg we claim that Pirotskiy invented trams and
Siemensjust marketed his idea). Horse-driven cars - called konka - had been running in
St.Petersburg since 1862. By 1906 there were 150 km (93.8 miles) of track in the city and the
konka carried 106 million passengers a year. Not surprisingly, konka owners fiercely
opposed the introduction of electric trams in St. Petersburg. Regular tram services
started on September 16, 1907. The trams were popular and soon drove the konka off
thestreets. By 1917 the city's tram system operated 710 tram cars, most of which ran
allthrough the hard days of the Revolution and the Civil War.
During the Soviet days Leningrad became the city with the largest tram network in
theworld. The tram services were halted only briefly in December 1941 - April 1942 - the most
terrible winter of the 900-day Siege of Leningrad.
By 1990 the city had 700 km (437.5 miles) of track and 2 200 tram cars. In 1990 alone
the trams carried 950 million passengers.
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Trolleybuses are essentially electric buses that get power from electric wires. Along
with trams, trolleybuses are the most environmentally-friendly public transport in
St.Petersburg, though not the fastest. They can get crowded at times, particularly
Trolleybus stops are marked with signs with blue letter "T". Show your
monthly pass to a conductor otherwise pay in cash for your ticket.
HISTORY OF TROLLEYBUS IN ST. PETERSBURG
The first St. Petersburg trolleybus was test-driven by engineer P.A. Freze on March
31,1902, but regular trolleybus services did not begin until October 21, 1936. The
firsttrolleybuses were built locally, though after a while the city started buying
bettervehicles built in the city of Yaroslavl (on Volga River). By WWII Leningrad had
130trolleybuses, serving 5 lines. All trolleybuses stopped running during the Siege
ofLeningrad and services were resumed only in May 1944.
Having the advantage of being environmentally-friendly, the trolleybus network has
grown since the War. In 1990 the city had 1 300 trolleybuses that carried 550
millionpassengers a year.
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St. Petersburg does not have as many taxis as New York or London, but there are
stillplenty of taxis in the street, catering both for budget travelers and the
"nouveauriche". Perhaps to confuse you, taxis are marked in a very diverse fashion.
Here is how you can identify a taxi:
- some taxis are painted bright yellow
- some taxis have an orange checkered light on the roof
- some taxis have green lights in the upper-left corner of windshield and the light is on
when the cab is available
- the more expensive taxis might have yellow "Taksi" signs on the roof.
HISTORY OF ST. PETERSBURG TAXIS
The first taxis appeared on St. Petersburg streets in 1906, and for about 30 years
theycoexisted with regular horse-drawn cabs - izvozchiki. The number of taxis grew quickly and
by 1913 there were 328 cars serving as taxis. All such cars were equipped with meters and
had yellow stripes and taxi signs on the sides.
During the 1917 Revolution all taxis were confiscated for the needs of the Red Army
andthe government. The taxi service in the city was reintroduced only in 1929. A year
laterthe city had 83 taxis which people could use after 5 pm only (this regulation,
In 1990 the city had 4 500 taxis which served about 150 thousand people a day. The
lastseveral years have seen an emergence of private taxis and even private taxi
companies,though the number of people who can afford to use taxis has sharply declined.