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Transport passes - monthly and smart card

NE Victoria...
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Transport passes - monthly and smart card

I've been doing a lot of reading about public transport in St Petersburg and I know that we can buy tokens before we travel on the metro or tickets from conductors on buses/trams etc. I've also read about monthly passes and smart cards but can find out very little about them - apart from the fact that they exist!

An older thread on the forum had a link to a Google translation of the Metro website, but I found it a little difficult to understand (even in translation). I've googled for hours but am really struggling to find out how much the passes and smart cards cost - please, tell me!

We usually combine a lot of walking with a lot of catching of public transport; we'll be in St Petersburg for a week and will be doing a huge amount of both, I think.

Thanks in advance for your help.

St. Petersburg...
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1. Re: Transport passes - monthly and smart card

Hi,

you're right our system is not easy to understand :(, plus, it's not translated in English even at the subway-stations :(. Hope, this will help. As of April 2011 a single trip is 25 rubles with a token. There are smart-cards:

1. valid for 7 days - for 10 tips - cost 210 rub (save 40 rub)

2. 15 days - 20 tips - 400 rub (save 100 rub)

3. 15 days - 25 trips - 490 rub (save 135 rub)

4. 30 days - 40 trips - 770 rub (save 230 rub)

5. 30 days - 50 trips - 950 rub (save 300 rub)

Now, here's a "trick" - on all of this smart-cards there is a "time-limit" condition. That meas, that after you use you card, you have to wait about 10-15-20 minutes (I don't remember exactly how long) to use this card again. Don't worry, this time is more than enough even if you travel just one stop. But if, let's say, there are two of you traveling and you both want to use only one card, than after one of you used it, the second one has to wait those minutes to use it again. Simplier, your co-traveler cannot re-use the card right after you used it (does it make sense? if not, I'll try to explain, don't hesitate to ask!)

And there are two more types of smart-cards, which seems not have this "time-limit" condition, but I'm not sure. I'll check today and will write you more later:

90 days - 70 trips - 1750 rub (save nothing)

90 days - 60 trips - 1440 rub (save 60 rub)

And there's a smart-card for 1 month but it only sells from the 16th till the 5th and is valid from the 1st of a month. I don't think it's an option for you at all.

There are some combi-cards, valid for all the transportation. But I never use them so I would have to figure out how it works and than let you know.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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2. Re: Transport passes - monthly and smart card

Great information, Sveta! You buy these cards from the cashier at any metro station, correct? And how do you ask for them in Russian? For example, if I wanted the 7 day pass, what would I ask for? I speak some Russian, but the last time I visited I always just passed 25 rubles through the slot and got a token. I was too afraid to inconvenience all the busy, rushed passengers by taking too much time trying to talk to the cashier.

NE Victoria...
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3. Re: Transport passes - monthly and smart card

Svetakoshka, thank you SO much for your incredibly detailed and helpful reply! It's really cleared up the smart pass for me. As far as the time limit goes, that would be fine because we would get two passes anyway.

I almost hate to ask because you've been so generous with your first response, but if you could find out a little bit about the combi-card, I'd be very grateful. We like to use buses, trams and trolleybuses wherever we can rather than just the metro (unless we have to get somewhere quickly) so we can see the scenery as we go. All I know about them is that I have to ask for a yedinaya kartochka - I think!

Again, I appreciate your help - thank you!

St. Petersburg...
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4. Re: Transport passes - monthly and smart card

<b>to charliechill<b>, yeah, unfortunately our people are getting a bit inpatient (unlikely in many-many other countries I've visited). But don't worry about it - we have to learn to be patient! To answer your question: for 7 days pass you might say "7 dney 10 poezdok card" or sometimes the cashier would understand "210 rublei" - but most of the time they would ask for "days/trips".

St. Petersburg...
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5. Re: Transport passes - monthly and smart card

To halwimsey - please, do not hesitate to ask!!! I take subway twice a day anyway so it's not a problem. Besides, I'd be glad to help with any info about St.Petersburg to make visitors feel comfortable here!

So, as far as the combi-cards:

1. Valid 1 month - 70 subway trips + unlimited bus/tram/troll tips - 1580 rubles, "time-limit" applies, sells anytime.

2. VALID ONLY from the 1st of a month till the 15th of the same month - 35 subway trips + unlimited bus/tram/troll trips - 790 rub, "time-limit" applies, the cashier told me it sells anytime even though on the subway website it says "sells from 16th to the 5th"...

Now, there are separate combi-cards for "tram-bus", "tram - troll" etc. Do you need info on those ones?

St. Petersburg...
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6. Re: Transport passes - monthly and smart card

To ALL: few general things about buying the smart-cards:

1. when you buy it FIRST time you have to pay 30 rubles REFUNDABLE deposit

2. when you decide you don't need the card anymore you can go to the cashier at any subway station and give them your card and ask for refund. Say smth like "hochu vernut' kartu"

3. theoretically at some stations there are automatic machines that sells smart-cards and the tokens. But I'm not sure that they have menu in English, I'll check on that.

3. "time-limit" is 10 minutes

4. 1 subway trip is 25 rubles,

5. 1 public bus/troll/tram trip is 22 rubles

Feel free to ask any questions and have a pleasant stay at St.Petersburg!

NE Victoria...
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7. Re: Transport passes - monthly and smart card

Thank you again Svetakoshka - it's so kind of you to have done this! It's a fantastic resource - and now I understand much better how the system works.

Please don't worry about finding out about the tram-bus or tram-trolleybus tickets, I'm sure we'll be happy with the options that you've outlined. Now we just have to decide which one we want to get (and I'll have to get on with practising my Russian so that I can ask for what we need at a ticket booth without holding up the queue for too long!).

Again, thanks very much for going to this much effort.

NE Victoria...
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8. Re: Transport passes - monthly and smart card

Hi again Svetakoshka!

Sorry, one last thing - I was just pasting your replies into my notes to take with me and I saw something that I had found earlier on the internet (I can't remember where).

<Purple smart cards of the metro can be used in all the types of city-owned transport, but not in the marshrutki. >

Do you think that they are talking about the monthly combi-card? I thought that the 7/15/30 day smart cards could only be used on the metro - or have I misunderstood? Is this other information simply wrong? (It wouldn't surprise me!)

St. Petersburg...
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9. Re: Transport passes - monthly and smart card

Hi, halwimsey, my pleasure to help!

"METRO ONLY" card is BLUE, the PURPLE one is a monthly /1st-half-monthly "COMBI-card". You may look at this http://www.metro.spb.ru/76.html page even though it's in russian only you'll get the idea how the cards look like.

If you don't mind than yes you may practice your Russian, but if you don't want to bother, you may write the card "name" in Russian (or russian words in latin lеtters) on a piece of paper and just show it to a chashier :)

As far as "marshrutki" - this is not city-owned transport. The prices vary very much from rout to rout but is fixed (doesn't depend on the distance you travel). But the advantages of them are:

- they go faster than regular transport :),

- they go more often than regular transport,

- they make stops on demand, not only on the regular bus stops (and you have to ask to stop),

- you may "catch" it as a taxi (just stick you hand out when you see needed rout-number) or you can board it on a regular bus stops

- they go place where regular buses don't go (I don't think it's a matter for you 'cause it's more appropriate for the living-neighborhoods on the ends of the city).

The negative side:

- the drivers MOST OF THE TIME don't speak English, so they are not able to help if you don't know where you need to get off. But I'm sure that those "marshrutkas" that operate withing the touristy-city-center do know words like "the Hermitage" :)

There are few types of "marshrutkas" - some have the same rout-number as the city owned and go the very same routs. Some are "independent" rout-numbers. Some vehicles are almost as large as the city-owned buses (safe to ride), some are small like mini-vans (not safe to ride - I recommend to avoid using the mini-van type). At some you pay as you board, at others - when you get off. Cash only! and they usually don't like banknotes of 500 rubles and higher value. The ones that operate in the city-center and pass along the touristy places usually have rout written in English. Like "Nevskiy prospekt - Hermitage -....- port" (for the cruise-ship tourists). But most of them have the rout written in Russian only :(.

Overall, I guess, I wouldn't recommend you to use "marshkutas".... but if you'd like to "spice up" your visit you may try it, not at the morning or evening rush-hour though :)

NE Victoria...
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10. Re: Transport passes - monthly and smart card

Thanks again Svetakoshka, you've been such an enormous help!

I'll follow your advice and write down what I need to ask for - the cashier and the people behind me in the queue will be grateful for that! I've only had a few lessons so far, so my Russian skills are a bit basic to say the least... I still have a few months to learn some more (or try to) before I go and I know the alphabet (which is a good start!), but writing things down beforehand will make everyone's lives easier.

Your information about catching a marshrutka is excellent too. I think that we might live dangerously and try one at some stage - but definitely not in peak hour, I promise!

:)