Metro in St. Petersburg
23 November 2014
There is a metro in St. Petersburg. Opened on 15th November 1955, St.Petersburg’s metro may not seem as majestic as Moscow’s, but it is still one of the most elegant and attractive in the world, with its unique stations exhibiting typical Soviet design or wonderful decorations and artworks. So when you get out of the train, just stop for a minute and enjoy the view: (almost) each metro station has its own story to tell, as it is dedicated either to a Russian author (like Puskin, Dostoevkij), to a hero of Russian history or to the Soviet era or to something particular as, for instance, Ancient Greece-themed Спортивная (Sportivnaya) station. So, if you live in the city centre and you do not even need to take the metro, you shoud consider to take a ride in any case – it is really worth it, since some stations are comparable to museums, with mosaics, fresco-painting, statues and bronze sculptures of rare beauty!
Автово (Avtovo, on the red line), with its marble columns and red-and-Golden coloured mosaic, is considered to be one of the most beautiful stations in the world. Балтийская (Baltijskaja, red line) is really worth a visit, with its naval-themed decorations, as well as Площадь Восстония (Plosad’ Vossctonia, red line), where you can admire Lenin’s and Stalin’s bas relief. In addition to that, you should not miss the extremely decorated Электросила (Elektrosila, blue line) or the sumptuos Кировский завод (Kirovskij Zavod, red line), just to mention only some of the most interesting…
For security reasons, some stations have a particular layout, the so-called “horizontal lift” – so you will not see the train approaching,but you will just hear it and then suddenly the doors will open in order to let passengers get in and out of the train.
Due to the particular geology of the city, St. Petersburg’s metro is also the deepest metro in the world, finding its deepest point at Адмирателтейская (Admiraltejskaja, violet line), where two escalators will take you till 86m under the ground (respectively, 69m fisrt and 15m later). Serving 2.3 million passengers daily and 760 million every year, it is also the 14th busiest metro system in the world – this explains the dizzing never-ending escalator you will find in many stations.
Formerly known as the V.I. Lenin Order of Lenin Leningrad Metropoliten, now St. Petersburg’s metro is definetely the most efficient and quickest way to travel within the city: it opens at about 5:30 AM and closes at about 00:15, ше offers a a punctual service, with waiting time as low as 2 minutes, and even lower during the overcrowded rush hours.
Now it counts 5 lines, 67 stations, covering a lenght of 113 km, while new more stations are under construction. As a matter of fact, it has a huge expansion plan for the next future: line 4 (the yellow one) will extend to the west and then North. The two stations, Бухаресткая (Bukharestskaya) and Международная (Mezhdunarodnaya) of the line 5 (violet), opened in December 2012, will be followed by another three heading southward. These should be open by 2017-2018. In addition to that, three new lines will be opened: some of these stations are already under construction, and should be open by 2020, while the other ywo lines should appear respectively before 2025 and after 2025.
At the same time, there are several short and mid-term projects on station upgrades, including escalator replacements and lighting upgrades. At the moment, Лиговский проспект (Ligovskij Prospekt, yellow line) is temporarely closed for maintenance, but should re-open next December.
Finally, here is some pratical information, which newcomers in Piters may find useful:
– tickets: to get in the metro, you will not have to buy a ticket, but you will have to ask for a tonken (жетон).
– prices: one ride in the metro (no matter how long it will be) currently costs 28 ruble, but if you are taking it regularly, you my consider to buy a card, which allows you to save both money and time
– some stations serve more than one line, so they have different names according to the line, but they are actually the same station, so that you will not need to get out if you just need to change line
– if possible, try to avoid rush hours (8-10 AM and 6-8 PM) and take the metro during the day.. you will be able to enjoy this “museum” without any stress!