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Yaroslavl Transport

Virtually all the khozyaikas live right in the centre of Yaroslavl, within easy walking distance of school and the main shops, so you probably won't have to use public transport regularly. However, if you're in Yaroslavl for a long time and/or an exciting, adventurous person, it's good to get the low-down...

Basically, there are trams, buses, trolley buses, marshrutkas, taxis and for further afield, trains and coaches. Trams, buses and trolley buses are state-run, so they all cost 10 roubles, regardless of how far you're travelling. You just get on and then at some point during your journey a conductor (usually a babushka) will come up to you and give you a little green ticket in return for your 10 roubles. "Marshrutka" is short for "marshrutnoe taxi", that is, a set-route taxi. They are private, which means they cost 15 roubles a pop. Although they follow a set route, there are no official stops: you have to stand at the side of the road and flag one down and you also have to shout out when you want it to stop so you can get out. This can be a little daunting, particularly if all the windows are covered in mud and ice and you have no idea where you’re going.

On state-run transport, the principle is the more, the merrier, but most of the marshrutkas are minibuses with a set number of seats. If it seems busy, ask ”mesto est’?”, but generally you’ll get the door slammed in your face before having to ask. Once on, get out your 15 roubles and pass them up to the driver via other passengers. If you need change, don’t worry, it will eventually get passed back down to you. Most marshrutkas are yellow, but a few are white or dark blue. On very busy routes they may look more like buses and have a conductor. Generally the marshrutkas have big (e.g. two-digit) numbers displayed and the buses have smaller numbers. All the public transport is frequent enough that you don’t need a timetable.

If you need to get somewhere when it’s dark or late, take a taxi. Seriously – don’t put your life at risk for the sake of 4 quid. Russian taxis don’t have meters, so you need to agree the price with the driver before you get in. Be firm and don’t be afraid to haggle. They’ll try to rip you off, particularly when they hear your staggeringly foreign accent, but a trip within the centre of Yaroslavl should cost no more than 200 roubles. If you can, give exact change, otherwise they might just bump the price up by not giving you back enough change.

When you phone for a taxi (e.g. 8(4852)720000,555555,505050,202020,300000), they will ask for your mobile number so that they can call you back in a few minutes and tell you the car registration number and the colour of the taxi.

*How to get to the ice hockey, skating rink and Real hypermarket see Going to Hockey

Yaroslavl is in the Golden Ring, which means that there are other cities within easy reach to visit. To get to the bus/coach station (“Avtovokzal”) you need to get on the trolley bus No. 5 or 9 from Bogoyavleniya Ploshad (where there’s the central post office and a statue of Yaroslav the Wise – the dude himself). This goes over the river and you need to get out when you see a big, modern, blue, glass, illuminated pyramid-shaped shopping complex on the left. The Avtovokzal is opposite. You can buy coach tickets shortly before departure, but be prepared to discover that you have been sold a “standing” place if the seats have run out. It’s cheap (e.g. about one pound fifty to Rostov), reasonably frequent and promises to redefine your concept of personal space.

Enjoy your journey !