The Moscow Metro is the most popular and, that is why, the most overcrowded public transport facility of the city.
The first line of the Moscow Metro was open in 1935, it covered the distance from Sokolniki to Gorky Park and included 13 stations. Currently, there are over 150 stations (including transition stations) of the Moscow Metro. The Metro stations were designed and embellished by prominent Russian architects, artists and sculptors. Their great talent and decorative skills created a peculiar underground network of great artistic value. The gamut of original materials, which were used to ornament the stations, is so wide that the Moscow Metro may be called a unique Museum of Geology or even a peculiar Museum of Arts.
The fee for one trip by Metro is fixed, i.e. it doesn't depend on the length of your route. Don't forget to get a Metro token, when going somewhere by the Metro. You may buy it in the Metro entrance halls. Then, deposit it into a slot of an automatic entry gate and get in. If you have a season ticket, just show it to a ticket-collector when passing by.
However, a new, more convenient method of payment is already applied at nearly all Metro stations, it includes the use of plastic cards instead of tokens. Plastic cards, as well as tokens, are on sale in the Metro entrance halls. You may pay for a certain number of trips by Metro (5, 10 20, etc.) and this number will be recorded on the card. The only thing you have to do is to insert the plastic card into the slot of an entry gate, where the information is read, and get in.
To pay for your ride, buy a magnetic card from the cashier in the metro and insert it into the slot of one of automatic gates. No matter how long you ride or how many transfers you make, you pay no extra fee. If you expect to use the metro for several weeks in a row, you can save some time and money by buying a monthly pass. Prices for magnetic cards: To help you find your way, there are several multicolored metro maps in every car (each Metro line has its own specific color scheme), and a loud speaker that announces the name of the station at every stop. The doors open and close automatically.
1 race - 5 Rbl
2 races - 10 Rbl (valid three calendar days)
5 races - 20 Rbl (valid thirty days from first entry)
10 races - 35 Rbl (valid thirty days from first entry)
20 races - 70 Rbl (valid thirty days from first entry)
60 races - 150 Rbl (valid thirty days from first entry)
Monthly card (maximum 70 races) - 160 Rbl
There is a first-aid station and police post at every station. For information you can ask any metro employee - they wear blue uniforms.
There are international telephones in the metro that use magnetic cards, which you can also get at the cashier. The city phones use magnetic cards too.
Check with the Metro outline to map out the route before going anywhere by Metro, it may only help you to avoid many train changes and find the shortest way up to the place you need.
The stations of the Moscow Metro are open since 5:30 a.m. The last train leaves its final route-point at 1:00 a.m., late at night, that's the time, when passengers are not allowed to make transitions from one line to another.
Many Muscovites go to work and back home by Metro, that's why you should be aware of the rush hours in the Moscow Metro on working days. Try to avoid using Metro during peak hours in the morning, between 7.30 a.m. and 10.30 a.m., and in the evening, from 4.00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
However, many stations are always overcrowded. In most cases, these are the stations located close to railway and bus terminals, biggest department stores and market places.
The main rule a person has to follow, when diving into the depth of the Moscow Metro for the first time, says that no one is to be afraid of a crowd. However, no one should trust the crowd completely and follow it thoughtlessly. If you can't get into the Metro car, don't try to squeeze into it, but wait till next train comes, you might get a better chance of finding a vacant place.
If you want to change from one line to another, use the Metro layout to choose and plan the best and the shortest route. The task becomes easier, if a station has only one transfer. As a rule, the Metro guiding boards indicate the lines and stations and you may always find the needed one. The exit boards are also very simple and easy-to read. They display a brief inscription and the names of nearby streets, department stores or organisations.
In case a station has two or even more transfers, try to get calm and don't follow the crowd, in this case you may miss your direction. Instead, try to find the information board indicating the needed station. If it doesn't help, don't get scared and try to ask other people for help. In most cases, the Muscovites are friendly enough to show you the way out of the difficult situation. If not, continue to ask the passers-by and the fifth one will definitely help you. Moreover, there is a duty personnel at every station, it's their job to help you.
Take care of your personal belongings. The crowd always attracts dishonest people. Please, look after your bags, handbags, pockets, etc. Don't leave your belongings in the Metro trains or in any other public transport. Otherwise, you'll always have a small chance of getting information about the lost things through calling 222-2085 (Metro) and 923-8753 (overland transport).
You may always find the Metro entrance easily. Whatever it looks like, it is indicated by big red letter "M" (illuminated in the evenings and late at night).
At present, the Moscow Metro cannot provide foreign guests with the information written in English and a newcomer may get serious problems trying to work a way through strange combinations of the Russian letters and words. However, we'll try to cover all major aspects awaiting our foreign guests in the capital of Russia.
Remember the meaning of some inscriptions on information boards and panels used in Metro:
||NO ENTRANCE |
||TRANSFER TO CIRCULAR LINE|
||EXIT TO THE STREET|
||TRANSFER IS CLOSED AT 1 A.M.|
||BOARDING PLATFORMS TO STATIONS:|
Information boards on station walls show the line stations and transfers to stations of other lines. There is a Metro layout in each train car. For convenience each Metro line has its own color. However, you cannot always find the line of required color on light-boards of the Metro stations, which may only indicate the names of stations without displaying the colors of lines. As far as the line color makes the whole job of finding the desired Metro route easier we provide you with the names of lines in English transcription and the color of each line.