Transportation in Kiev
The capital of Ukraine is a city whose transport system is composed of buses, trolleybuses, trams, metro and taxi. The best of all is the subway, for its safety and speed, so let’s start with it:
It is the best way to get around Kiev and the network has about 43 stations. This means of transport was inaugurated in 1960 and there are three lines. There is even a subway tunnel that connects both sides of the city. The lines are red, blue and green, 1,2 and 3, and it is the red line that has contact with the others. It works between 6 o’clock in the morning and at 12 o’clock at night. Peak hours are concentrated between 7 and 8am and 5 and 6pm. Here traveling by subway may not be pleasant so it is best to avoid them.
With regard to tickets you can buy one daily or a monthly pass. They are called token and allow to change the line. The bad thing is that the signs in the stations are written in Cyrillic and the staff does not speak English so do not forget to have a map at hand.
Trams and trolleybuses
Trams are one of the oldest means of transportation in the city but at the same time they are not so used today. They go through the center but there are only two lines in operation, one on each side of the city. In general, they use them to make the transfer to or from the suburbs. For its part the trolleybuses are old and slow so I would say that both transports are perfect if you want to take a scenic ride, nothing more. You can buy the ticket directly from the driver and in both costs the same. The monthly pass allows you to use any of these transports and the subway at the same time.
The Kiev bus fleet is modern because the city has invested heavily in it so there are no old buses. They are cheap and that’s why they always carry people. You can buy the ticket to the driver or at the stop and there are also monthly passes. You must validate the ticket because otherwise you pay a fine. There are also private buses that run almost the same routes and are a bit more expensive but faster and more comfortable.
These are green, yellow or white minibuses that move throughout the city. They work like taxis and you can stop them almost anywhere. You pay the driver or someone who is by your side, maybe a family member, but it is said that you are subject to their character. If the driver is a kind and responsible subject, you will not have problems to stop where you indicate or help you a bit, otherwise, you are free to your good faith. When the minibus is complete it does not stop anymore and if there are many people it is not very comfortable.
These minibuses were born to move at night but they became very popular in all the countries of the former Soviet Union.
Kiev is connected to other European cities by train and the central station is located in the very center of the city next to the Vokzalna metro station. In 2001 it was totally renovated and today it looks very modern. To move around the country the train is a reasonable option although foreigners usually pay more expensive tickets.
There is an urban train that is relatively new and stops at fourteen stops around the city in 50 minutes. It works between 6am and 9:30 am and between 4:30 and 8pm with a frequency of around 15 minutes.
There are many taxis and private cars circulating in the streets of Kiev and to stop them you just have to make a gesture with your hand up. Private cars generally cost less than an official taxi, but you should bear in mind that drivers do not speak English, the vast majority, and that they can cheat you.