The residents get around the city using a variety of transport options. The fastest and most efficient is the metro. On above-ground transportation you can buy tickets from the conductor or driver (23Rbl for bus, tram, trolleybus) and up to 30Rbl for a marshrutka (mini-bus). All forms of transport work from around 06:00 to just after midnight. If you plan to catch the metro, it helps to learn your Cyrillic alphabet first. Official taxis are inexpensive by European standards and there is also the possibility of getting an 'independent' driver.
St. Petersburg's metro is one of the deepest in the world and one of the most beautiful. Central stations and those on the red line are particularly impressive, featuring tons of Soviet symbology in bronze, glass and stone. It's also fast and efficient and, during peak time, you won't need to wait more than three minutes for a ride. The metro runs from 06:00 till around 00:30. First, you'll need to buy a token(zheton). Zhetons cost 27Rbl and can be bought from the window labelled kassa. There are five different metro lines, and to change lines, you usually need to change stations. There are underground passageways linking adjacent stations like Sadovaya/Sennaya Pl. and Nevsky pr./Gostiny Dvor. When you arrive at a station, it can be difficult to see the name of where you are. You will hear the arrival station announced, followed by the name of the next stop. This can be confusing, so it's best to count your stops. In rush hour, the metro can get a bit hectic.
Buses and trolleybuses are another option and they have the advantage of allowing you to take in the architecture of the city, sometimes very slowly and often over the leather-covered shoulders of a local commuter. The city’s central fleet has been updated and scrolling banners above the driver’s cabin will list the next destination. Many also feature pre-recorded announcements for the current and following stop. Routes are indicated on window placards positioned on the side of each bus and trolley.
The marshrutka is a mini-bus taxi which follows a fixed route. The marshrutka concept emerged in the 90s as a reaction to overcrowded public transport. These days, they go just about everywhere within the city and out to the suburbs. Sadly, they no longer run on Nevsky, which disconnects them from much of the centre. They have set departure points, but otherwise, when you see the number you want, just hail it down like a taxi. To pay, hand your fare (up to 35Rbl) to the driver or to the person in front of you. When you want to get off, yell out loudly, ‘ostanavites pazhaluista,’ and the driver will come to a screeching halt.
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