Metro Cuts Service, Raises Fare by 300 Rubles

By Charles Digges

Starting Sunday (October 6, 1996) the Metro began providing less service and charging more for it.

As of Sunday the Metro began to shave an hour off its daily service indefinitely as part of a cost-cutting campaign. That same day, a 300-ruble ($0.06) price increase went into effect, raising the cost of a single token from 1,200 to 1,500 rubles.

"At least the change will be more exact," said one passenger as he stood in line to buy tokens at Vladimirskaya Metro.

According to Nikolai Lyavdansky of the St Petersburg Metropolitan's department of scheduling, service city wide will begin at 5:45 a.m., half an hour later than usual, and shut down at 12:00 a.m. instead of 12:30 a.m.

The new hours piggyback on a plan instituted early this month to shorten the working hours at the downtown Dostoevskaya station, and closing some of the exits at other major stations over the weekends.

Lyavdansky said he did not know how long the abbreviated service or the exit closures would continue but added that "it will most likely be for awhile, possibly for good."

He said he knew of no plans to further curtail Metro service.

City Governor Vladimir Yakovlev, whose post-election promises included bringing federal financial relief to St Petersburg's ailing Metro system, approved the measure on Friday, according to city hall press officials.

"Yakovlev undertook this at the Metro's request," said city hall press officer Alexei Kedrin.

Lyudmila Borobokhen of the Metro's economic department said that the savings the new working hours would bring had not yet been calculated.

Six months ago Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin promised Yakovlev nearly 448 billion rubles in federal funding for the Metro, only half of which has been received to date.

Metro officials also recently moved all employees from a five- to a four-day work shift.

Metro officials declined to comment on by how much Metro workers' salaries would decrease as a result of the abbreviated schedule.

Stations That Close Some Exits on Weekends

  • Pl. Alexandra Nevskovo
  • Moskovskaya
  • Leninsky Prospekt
  • Prospect Veteranov
  • Pl. Lenina/Finland Station
  • Tekhnologichesky Institut
  • Dostoevskaya

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