Most of the major tourist attractions and hotels in Kiev can be easily reached using the Metro system alone. Until recently we wouldn’t have recommended use of the local bus and tram systems to foreign visitors, at least those unable to understand Ukrainian or Russian.
On these modes of transport, all signs and timetables are in Ukrainian, route maps aren’t readily available and English-speaking employees few and far between. Practical short-term use was simply too difficult.
Fortunately things have now changed thanks to the Easyway online transport information system.
So what’s the difference between a tram and trolleybus, or a bus and a marshrutka?
- Trolleybuses – Trolleybuses are electric-powered buses that draw their power from overhead wires. There are over 30 trolleybus routes in Kiev.
- Trams – These are also powered by electricity but run on fixed tracks. There are over 20 tram routes in Kiev.
- Buses – Further explanation isn’t really needed. Buses in Kiev are just the same as anywhere else in the world.
- Marshrutkas – Marshrutkas can be found in cities throughout Eastern Europe. They are basically privately-owned, minibuses that follow a fixed route.
Fares and Tickets
Tickets for trams, buses, trolleybuses, and marshrutkas are dirt cheap.
The single fare on a trolleybuses, trams, or bus is 1.5 UAH. Tickets can be purchased from conductor (or driver) and must be validated unless you want to get a fine. This is done by making a hole in it using the punch (Компостер – komposter) inside the vehicle. The conductor can also validate the ticket.
Tickets aren’t issued for marshrutkas. Payment is made to the driver. Marshrutkas are often packed and driver blocked by other passengers. If this is the case, just give your fare to the passenger in front of you and it will be passed along to the driver. Any change will make its way back the same way. The bus number and route (including any stops at any Metro stations) are displayed on the windscreen. The fare is also shown and ranges from 1.50 UAH to 4 UAH.