Transport in Kyiv
Here the photos from the means of transport in Kyiv are presented. This is indeed an interesting system, full of, of course, Soviet-made solution, but also with a modern touch. It consists of several means of transport, that are listed below:
- Metro (Ки́ївський метрополіте́н, Kyivskyi metropoliten) – a rapid transit system that is a backbone of the transportation in the city. It was the first rapid transit system in Ukraine and the third system in the Soviet Union, after Moscow and St. Petersburg. It has three lines with a total length of 67.56 kilometers (41.98 mi) and 52 stations. It is owned by the Kyiv City Council. It is divided into three lines, that cross themselves in a shape of a “Soviet triangle”, so the interchange is possible only between two lines at the same time. An interesting fact is that the interchange station are named differently – you can change between M1 station Khreshchatyk and M2 station Maidan Nezalezhnosti using the subways etc. What is also interesting that there are separate entrances and exists, which is important, as the system can be really busy in the rush hours. The lines are named and as I mentioned, there are three of them:
- M1 (Святошинсько-Броварська лінія, Sviatoshynsko–Brovarska line) – it was first opened on 6 November 1960, has 16 stations and the length of the line is 22.64 km. It includes some of the system's more historically significant stations, like Arsenalna, which at 105.5 meters and is the deepest in the world and the next station Dnipro, which although the tunnel follows a descent, appears above ground level.
- M2 (Оболонсько-Теремківська лінія, Obolonsko–Teremkivska line) – it was first opened on 17 December 1976, has 17 stations and the length of the line is 20.95 km. As the current stations were built in the 1970s and 1980s, architecturally the line shows some of the best examples of late-Soviet architectural features.
- M3 (Сирецько-Печерська лінія, Syretsko–Pecherska line) – it was first opened on 31 December 1989. The line is one of the newest and shows some post-independence decorative motifs. Technically, it is also a great development, with most of the platforms longer and wider than older sections and with some stations having provision for disabled access. This line is coloured green in the maps. There is an unfinished station named Lvivska Brama between Lukianivska and Zoloti Vorota stations and I will tell you, the distance between these two stations is shockingly long (I mean, the distances between metro stations in Soviet systems are already quite long, but this one takes around 7 minutes).
- Trams (Київський Tрамвай, Kyivskiy Tramvay) – a regular tram network. It was the first electric tramway in the former Russian Empire and the fourth one in Europe after the Berlin Straßenbahn and the Budapest and Prague tramways. The Kyiv Tram system currently consists of 139.9 km (86.9 mi) of track, including 14 km (8.7 mi) two Rapid Tram lines, served by 21 routes with the use of 523 tram cars. However, the system is being neglected, the serviced track length is decreasing at a fast rate and is replaced by buses and trolleybuses.
- Kyiv Light Rail (Київський швидкісний трамвай, Kyivskyi shvydkisnyi tramvay) – a light rail rapid transit service that serves the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. The system is grade-separated from Kyiv's regular tram system. The stops, altough they are not underground, are still equipped with the ticket barriers. There are two separate light rail lines which are not connected:
- T1 (Правобережна лінія, Pravoberezhna line) – the first one that was opened, it is located in the right bank of the Dnieper. It was closed for reconstruction in 2008 and opened again on 16 October 2010. The line is separated from other street traffic by fence for most of its length.
- T2 (Лівобережна лінія, Livoberezhna line) – the second light rail line that was built in 1993-2000 to serve the Troieschyna neighborhood, it was closed after low passenger traffic in 2009, however it was rebuilt to connect with the urban electric train in 2010-2012 and re-opened on 25 October 2012.
- Funicular (Київський фунікулер, Kyivskyi funikuler) – a steep slope railroad on Kyiv Hills that serves the city of Kyiv, connecting the historic Uppertown, and the lower commercial neighborhood of Podil through the steep Volodymyrska Hill overseeing the Dnieper River. The line consists of only two stations and is operated by the Kyiv city community enterprise Kyivpastrans. The stations are: Poshtova (the lover one), that connects to the M2 metro station Poshtova Ploshcha and Mykhailivska (the upper one). It uses an interesting track gauge – 1200 mm. There are only two trains, denoted as left (Лівий, Λ) and right (Правий, П). The stations in the album are denoted as fu (фу).
- Buses, trolleybuses – the rubber means of transport that provide services between the stops and stations of the rail transport. They are, in my opinion, the most convoluted ones from the portfolio of the Kyivpastrans, the local public transportation authority.
- Marshrutkas – another rubber mean of transport that is operated mostly privately and consists of low-class small buses. The name of the system comes from the phrase маршру́тное такси́ (marshrutnoje taksi, routed taxicab). They operate on fixed lines, but do not stop on every stop and are often a bit more expensive from the municipal buses.
- Kyiv Boryspil Express – a rapid connection (40 minutes) between the Boryspil airport and the central railway station (Київ-Пасажирський, Kyiv-Pasazhyrskyi). It calls on 2 intermediate stations, Darnytsia and Vydubychi, which are important long-distance and regional stations, Vydubychi station also connects to the Intercity Bus Station.
- Kyiv Urban Electric Train (Київська міська електричка, Kyivska miska elektrychka) – is supposed to be an S-Bahn-style service that uses long-existing railroad ring in the city for peak hour circulation of electric multiple unit trains. The full length of lines is 50.8 km with 15 stations. Opening hours are from 5:48 until 21:37 with a time between trains of between 10 and 30 minutes. 12 trains operate on the line; the fastest time to complete a loop is 1 hour and 25 minutes. It uses a popular word in the former Soviet Union – електричка (electric train) intentionally.
The stations of the two last means of transport are denoted in the album as rp (РП), which is an official mark for the regional trains in the country. I do not however count the regional and suburban trains, as they are mostly used by the people that live outside the city and they does not count as an intracity service.
The ticketing system is operated by the Kyivpastrans (Київпастранс), a local transport authority and public transport operator (except for the rail and metro). The fares are supposed to be paid for every ride, but tickets for 24h, 48h, 72h and season tickets are also available. Paper tickets and tokens (for the metro) used to be the mosty popular ways of paying for the services, but the electronic payment system has been developer. It consists of single tickets with QR codes, a mobile and and a contactless EMV card. These options unfortunately all work online, so the processing pace is really slow, you have to wait a couple of second for the gate to let you go (the gates are either open and close if you try to go through them without paying the fare or are regular ones), which is just painful compared to Felica (Japanese IC card or Hong Kong Octopus card) or MIFARE (e.g. Oyster Card) standard. Even EMV (NFC) standards, which are pretty slow, are often much faster if the system works offline. Additionally, for many services a regular contactless credit or debit card payment is also possible, however just for single rides and it is also really slow.