Samara Metro is an underground transportation system akin to New York Subway or London Tube. It is the newest (since 1987) and least used public transport facility in the city. But for many reasons it might prove useful since trains do not depend on weather and road conditions. Samara Metro is almost never crowded; the only exception was the 2008 snowfall when most of the ground transportation stopped. The stations are designed in the Soviet Metro traditons - they look like ornate halls with marble, granite and mosaics, but on a smaller scale than Moscow Metro.
Samara Metro is open from 6am till midnight. The cost of one ride (unlimited as long as you stay underground) is currently 15 RUB or 12 RUB if you use transport e-card. Schoolchildren and students pay less with e-card. Children under 7 ride free. Tokens can be bought in the stations. Insert the token into a turnstile or press your e-card against the red light on it and enter on green light. Moskovskaya, Gagarinskaya and Kirovskaya stations are equipped with escalators – keep to the right to let people walk on the left. Smoking is forbidden everywhere. Bicycles cannot be carried, unless it’s a kid’s or a folding bike. You cannot use roller skates or be inside the stations barefoot.
Samara Metro is relatively young and carries quite few passengers due to its routing and only nine stations so far. The first train carried the first passengers on 25 December 1987 between the first four stations – Pobeda, Bezymyanka, Kirovskaya and Yungorodok. At that time it was supposed to connect industrial areas of Bezymyanka with residential mid-city and further south to the city centre. But the collapse of the Soviet Union and economic downturn made things progress slowly. The fifth station – Sovetskaya – was opened in December 1992, the sixth – Sportivnaya – in March 1993, the seventh – Gagarinskaya – in December 1993, the eighth – Moskovskaya – in December 2002, and the ninth – Rossiyskaya – in December 2007. The routing of the first line is still debated: Alabinskaya and Teatralnaya should come next, but where it goes further nobody knows. One thing that is known for sure, that the first line, unfortunately, cannot go to the central railway station. The second line should begin there and connect with the first one at Moskovskaya station. But everyone in the city is quite pessimistic to see the second (and third) line on their watch.
Samara Guru is going to show you all the stations in our next posts.