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HOMECITY TRANSPORTST. PETERSBURG METRO

St. Petersburg Metro

St. Petersburg's metro is perhaps not quite as majestic as Moscow's, but architecturally it's still a cut above nearly any other public transport system in the world. It is also the world's deepest subway, so be prepared for vertiginous views from the top of the escalator.

Exit signs from the metro in Russian and English in St Petersburg, Russia
The entrance to Admiralteyskaya Metro Station in downtown St. Petersburg, Russia
Turnstiles at the entrance to the metro system in St Petersburg, Russia
Using a magnetic card to enter the metro, instead of the more traditional tokens in St Petersburg, Russia
Escalators at Admiralteyskaya, the deepest station on the St. Petersburg Metro
The lower vestibule between the platforms at one of St. Petersburg's newest stations, Russia

The system is also remarkably efficient. During the day, trains arrive every 2-3 minutes, with slightly longer waiting periods early in the morning and late at night. On average, the stations open at about 5:45am and close between midnight and 0:30am You can transfer from one line to the other until 0:15am.

Tickets
The fare for a single journey to anywhere in the city is around $1. St. Petersburg's metro still uses a system of tokens ("zheton") the size of larger coins. These can be bought from the cashier windows operating in every station vestibule - the easiest way to make yourself understood is just to pass through exact change and/or use your fingers to signal the number of tokens you require. In theory, you need to buy separate tokens for larger baggage, but this rule is rarely enforced.

Tokens, valid for one (unlimited) journey on the St. Petersburg Metro

There are also vending machines of two types in nearly all stations. The smaller orange machines allow you only to insert a set denomination of note (currently 100 rubles) and obtain a set number of tokens plus change. If no light is showing, the machine is not working. The second type, which are computerized with a touchscreen, allow you to choose the number of tokens you require, pay with different denominations of note or coin, and can also be used to buy or top up cards.

History of St. Petersburg Metro

The first plans to build a metro in St. Petersburg were drawn in 1899, but were not implemented due to the outbreak of WWI and then the Revolution of 1917. In 1941, 8 years after 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 work resumed and the first metro line (from Avtovo to Ploschad Vosstania) was opened on November 15, 1955. Since then the metro network has grown to five lines with an average of 1.9 km (1.19 miles) between its 62 stations.

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