Minsk is undoubtedly a big city with pretty variable means of public transportation. Every day nearly 3 million people use public transport to get to this or that place. Public transport in Minsk is cheap, safe, reliable and more or less comfortable. The most popular means are metro, bus, trolleybus and tram.
Metro / Subway
Metro is considered to be the main mean of transport in Minsk. Nearly 1 million people use it every day. Opened almost 30 years ago, by now it’s the quickest and the most convenient way to reach the needed destination.
There are two lines in Minsk “Moskovskaya” (the blue one) and “Avtozavodskaya” (the red one). On the whole there are 25 metro stations. The first line crosses the whole city from west to east and goes under the main street of the capital – Nezavisimosti Avenue. The second line connected the northern parts of the city with the southern parts. The main station is “Oktyabrskaya” (for the blue line) or Kupalovskaya (for the red line), this is the station where you can change to another line.
In general metro stations in Minsk are not located very deep under the ground as in Saint-Petersburg or Moscow, though the carriages themselves look almost the same. If you want to go somewhere by Belorussian metro, you have to buy tokens (valid for one ride) or plastic cards (valid for 10 days or a month). The public transportation policy in Belarus is not that strict as in Europe or neighbor countries, so, it is comparably cheap. Though prices can change few times a year, but nowadays one token will cost you 1700 BY Ruble ($0,25).
The timetable of the city metro is fixed and that is why this means of transport prevails among the passengers. The first carriage departs from terminal stations at 5.35 in the morning, and the last carriage departs at 1:02 at night. The average interval between the arrivals of the carriages is 4-5 minutes. At rush hours it is 2 minutes, and at night it is 10-12 minutes. People believe that the metro is the most convenient way to move in the city. Moreover, it is warm, clean and safe there.
Buses are the most popular means of transport in the whole world and Minsk is not an exception. Losing its positions only to metro, the bus lines are really widely used in Minsk. There are nearly 167 directions that you can reach going by bus in Minsk. Almost 1800 buses serve the citizens every day. Few decades ago this vehicle was not very comfortable, because the buses were really old and dirty, but people had no choice as the city metro system was not developed yet.
Nowadays all the buses are modern and convenient. Some people prefer this kind of transport to metro because you can both travel to the needed destination and observe the city. Moreover, it’s rather quick, not taking into account the rush hours.
If you want to reach the needed place going by bus, you have to buy a tally (valid for one ride) or a monthly ticket. This will cost you just as well as metro – 1700 BY Ruble ($0.25). The timetable is supposed to be strict, and the time of arrivals and the intervals between buses is usually mentioned on boards at every bus stop. But because of rush hours, accidents and other reasons the timetable is not always correct. Nowadays at few bus stops the electronic boards are placed following the example of European cities. On these boards you can see the minutes left for the next bus. Although this is a huge step forward in public transportation, there is still a lot to be done.
We have to admit that in autumn 2012 there was performed a special bus. Its route is №1. The peculiarity of it is that while riding it you can hear an audio-excursion as the bus stops at this or that place. You can hear the facts about the history of Minsk and its most noticeable places. The route goes from the railway station to Vesnyanka neighborhood.
The first trolleybuses appeared in Minsk almost 60 years ago and by now there are 67 routes reaching different parts of the city. This means of transport is really convenient, the cabin is clean and warm. The only problem of trolleybuses is their energy-addiction. If there is some disorder with electricity in this or that part of the city, immediately start the problems with trolleybuses. Moreover, this transport is very dependent on street accidents, as it is not able to use all the lines of the road as the buses, for example.
If you want to reach the needed place going by trolleybus, you have to buy a tally (valid for one ride) or a monthly ticket. This will cost you just as well as metro or bus – 1700 BY Ruble ($0.25). The story with the timetable is the same as with the buses; although we have to point out that the delays happen more often.
This kind of transport is not that popular in Minsk as all the ones mentioned above, but still it is used by passengers every day. Nowadays there are 145 carriages riding on 8 tram lines in Minsk. In 2000s Belarus bought a lot of new convenient carriages in Germany, and in a few years after that started to make trams itself.
The main problem of trams in Minsk is that they are greatly dependent on electricity and street accidents even more than trolleybuses. At rush hours or at times when some accident takes place, the whole tram system gets paralyzed and these vehicles are out of order for a long time.
The advantage of traveling by tram is that you could see some beautiful places and nice small streets on the way. So, you can both ride and take a self-excursion. If you want to reach the needed place going by trolleybus, you have to buy a tally (valid for one ride) or a monthly ticket. This will cost you just as well as metro or bus – 1700 BY Rubles ($0.25).
The story with the timetable is the same as with the buses and trolleybuses. But usually if people are in a hurry, they do not take a risk and go by metro.
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