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TRAVEL ENCYCLOPAEDIA

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PUBLIC TRANSPORT & DRIVING

This page gives general information on public transport and driving in Moscow. See relevant sections of this website for directions to certain places of interest.

Moscow public transport authority's official website in English is somewhat awkward but still it may help navigate through the city.

Even in the central Moscow, walking from one place to another may take much time and it is not always a pleasant experience.

Metro, buses, trolleybuses, trams and commuter trains operate from about 5.30 a.m. to 1.00 a.m. Four bus routes link the city centre with the outskirts at night.

If you intend to use Moscow’s public transport for at least several days, Troika card - which can be bought and topped up at any metro station - is the cheapest and most convenient option. One trip on metro, bus, trolleybus or tram will cost you RUR 38 only with this card. Troika is also valid on commuter trains including Aeroexpress trains to and from Moscow’s airports.

Public transport ticket prices

1 trip

55 ₽

2 trips

110 ₽

60 trips

1 900 ₽

1 day

230 ₽

3 days

438 ₽

30 days

2 170 ₽

90 days

5 430 ₽

365 days

19 500 ₽

 

Metro trains arrive around every two minutes during peak hours. At night and on weekends, intervals may extend to five and more minutes.

Interestingly, clocks at the platforms count the time that passed since the previous train departure rather than the time you should wait for the next train.

Usually, it takes about half an hour to reach the city centre from an outermost station.

Carriages in the middle of the trains are less crowded on radial lines; on the circular line the situation is reverse.

Some metro stations deserve attention as objects of artistic value. Do not miss ceiling paintings at Mayakovskaya (line 2, green), bronze statues at Ploshchad Revolyutsii (line 3, navy blue) and mosaics at Kievskaya (line 5, brown.) See our Architecture page for details.

transportThe concourse of Ploshchad Revolyutsii metro station houses 76 bronze statues.

Taking pictures or videos using professional cameras and accessories requires permission from metro authorities.

Mind that some metro maps on the internet may be obsolete or misleading. This metro map is correct and updated.

Formally, Moscow Central Circle (a light red ring on the map) is not a part of the metro system, but the same tickets are valid there. Mind that transfers from metro to the Central Circle and vice versa may involve a walk in the open air.

Schedules of buses, trolleybuses and trams depend on passenger flow density on certain routes; at times intervals may last an hour or so. Mind that timetables at surface transport stops may be misleading.

transport2Schedules at public transports stops in Moscow may be misleading.

Shuttle minivan also known as marshrutka is an “endangered species” of Moscow’s transport system. Survivors charge about the same fares as metro or buses.

Not all surface transport vehicles have climate control.

Taxi is relatively cheap in Moscow. A ride from the beltway to the city centre will normally cost you within RUR 1000. Any of four Moscow’s airports is not more than RUR 2000 away from any part of the city. Book taxi online. Mind that using online booking applications in Moscow will require some knowledge of Russian. Deals with drivers who flock at the metro stations, train terminals and airports pose risks of robbery or, at best, overcharge.

The most popular taxi online services in Moscow are Uber, Yandex Taxi and Gett.

Alas, Moscow is not a wheelchair friendly city. For assistance in metro, call +7 (495) 622-73-41 at least 3 hours prior to the trip. Most surface public transport vehicles are not equipped for wheelchair access.

Driving and cycling

Moscow is the world second-worst city in terms of traffic congestion, according to the most recent report by INRIX, a global company that specialises in transportation analytics.  In 2017, the company analysed 1,360 cities across 38 countries and found that drivers spent 91 hours in traffic hotspots in Moscow. Los Angeles where drivers spent 102 hours in jams tops the list.

Moscow’s authorities disputed the INRIX’s results saying that that the company used combined data for the city and the region.

The traffic and driving laws in Russia do not differ much from those of most other countries.

The right side is right and the left side is wrong.

The far-right lanes on some major motorways are reserved for public transport, including taxi.

The minimum age of a driver is 18.

It is illegal for children under the age of 12 to travel in the front seat.

Picking up hitchhikers is also illegal.

Drink-driving penalties include RUR 30,000 fine and revocation of driving licence for up to two years.

When driving, be sure to have the following items with you:

  • Passport
  • Driving licence (licenses issued abroad are valid in Russia unless you work as a professional driver)
  • Vehicle insurance policy
  • Car registration document
  • Certificate of annual technical inspection
  • First-aid kit
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Emergency triangle sign
  • A neon reflective vest
  • Spare headlight bulbs

Street signs indicate speed limits in kilometres per hour (km/h). In residential quarters of Moscow, the speed limit is 20 km/h, on almost all other roads it is 60 km/h. Higher speeds are allowed on some major motorways only.

Penalties range from RUR 500 to two-year imprisonment.

Traffic jams are frequent in Moscow. To avoid delays, see the live traffic map.

For parking space, see the Moscow government's official parking map.

Many companies, including international chains, offer motor vehicles for rent. Prices start from about RUR 2000 per day.

For available shared cars, see the map (in Russian only.) Car sharing prices range between RUR 5 and 10 per minute. Register at one of Moscow's car sharing companies here (in Russian only.)

Motor fuel in Moscow costs from around RUR 45 to 50 per litre depending on the fuel grade.

Drivers should beware of smash-and-grab thefts from parked cars and of staged accidents.

Cyclists should obey the same traffic rules as motorists. There are few cycleways in Moscow, and most people ride either on driveways or sidewalks, though the latter is a violation of the rules.

Velobike is the most extensive bicycle rental company in Moscow with hundreds of stations scattered all over the city. There are also many independent rental outlets in parks, including Gorky Park and Sparrow Hills.

Bicycles are widely available for rent in Moscow from May through October.Bicycles are widely available for rent in Moscow from May through October.

 

 

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