No cash payments

We hardly use cash anywhere these days – and to keep up with the trends, public transport in St. Petersburg is making a move to reduce cash payments on a major portion of the city’s bus routes by July 15. Instead, you can now pay with your credit card, student travel card, Podorozhnik, or a single-use QR ticket purchasable at metro stations or at special kiosks. 

So far, cash is not leaving public transport completely and you will still be able to use it on trams, trolleybuses, and many of the buses circulating in the city center. And don’t forget, the metro will still accept both cash and card payments as well.

You can find out more about which routes will accept cash in the last paragraph here – the text is in Russian, but the numbers don’t need translation.

Say goodbye to shuttle buses

Shuttle buses or marshrutkas are (or should we say, were?) those smaller buses owned by private companies that used to cover the routes that weren’t covered by regular buses. Typically, these buses would take you to places outside the city, like Peterhof or Kronstadt, or help you get around in high-rise areas closer to the city’s outskirts. These marshrutkas were long considered unsafe and unfitting for a well-developed transport system and were therefore the main target of this new reform. They were also incredibly inconvenient since you couldn’t use your Podorozhnik or student travel cards on many of them. 

So what can we expect? No more cramped marshrutkas – instead, you will get to ride new comfortable, spacious, and eco-friendly buses that will accept your student travel card (and save you a lot of money), no questions asked. 

This major transition will take over three months, starting on April 1. In order to get there, the city will roll out over 2,000 new buses, as well as take care of all the necessary infrastructure (such as new bus stops and traffic control centers). 

New routes and infrastructure

Many of those shiny new buses will travel along newly-established routes and at reliable regular intervals. These changes will start on June 1 with the second stage of the reform, but you can already have a look at handy maps with new and updated routes here

Credit: Denise Jans (@dmjdenise) on Unsplash

Credit: Denise Jans (@dmjdenise) on Unsplash

Podorozhnik: 60- and 90-minute discounts

Finally, the reform introduces new opportunities for those who need to change between several means of transport within one hour or 90 minutes. 

The 60-minute rate

Starting from April 1, every time you pay for your ride on a bus, trolleybus, or tramway, the 60-minute rate will automatically be activated. This means that your first ride on ground transport will cost you 40 rubles, the second – 10 rubles, and the third one will be free – as long as it was taken within 60 minutes from the first ride. This offer doesn’t extend to the metro, however – in fact, your ride counter will “reset” upon using the metro.

The 90-minute ticket

A similar new feature is the all-new 90-minute ticket, which gives you one metro ride and an unlimited number of ground transport rides within 90 minutes – all for 72 rubles (as of April 2022). This one isn’t activated automatically and you will have to buy it separately at a metro station or a special kiosk. These tickets will be uploaded to your Podorozhnik card.

You can read about the reform in more detail on the official website (in Russian, but there is a built-in translation tool). 

Now you are all up-to-date on improvements in the city’s transport system! If you’ve still got questions, you can always reach out to us on VK and Telegram. And don’t forget to check our comprehensive guide to St. Pete’s public transport.