It travels to and from the major organs of the city- from Moscow State University to the Church of Christ the Savior. It transports the thousands of the cellular bodies throughout the city. It runs from the furthest extremities to the core. It is the lifeline of Moscow’s hustle and bustle. It is the Moscow Metro.
As all bodies, you need to understand the central nervous system of Moscow in order to survive. After a little over a week of studying abroad, I have put together a few tips based on my personal experiences.
- Make sure your shoes are tied: On my first day on the Metro, I ignored my untied shoe. All of my friends kept reminding me to tie my shoe, but I chose to overlook my shoelaces. Sure enough, my untied shoelace ended up getting caught in an escalator.
- Read the color coated maps: Generally, I am the one to spend hours on an IKEA furniture set because I threw out the instructions, or the one who chooses to “find their way” without a map. However, I advise that everyone reference the color coated maps placed at the entrance of every station. These maps provide a simple and comprehensive illustration of the city, AND they include phonetical pronunciations of every stop.
- Purchase a Transit Metro card: Purchasing a transit card may not be monetarily cheaper, but the convenience holds value–trust me! Instead of stopping by the cashier’s box every trip, the transit card can be used like a charge card. Put as much money on as you wish, but be mindful that each trip is 35 rubles (currently less than a USD).
- Wait at the furthest side of the platform: If you are not accustomed to public transit– and no the BullRunner does not count– try to wait for your train at one of the furthest sides of your platform. I find that either the far right or left of the platforms are the least crowded. Most often people will cluster towards the center of the platform. The additional foot traffic makes it difficult to catch trains, puts you at risk for theft, and can create anxiety. However, if you move to the furthest sides of the platform you will avoid much of the headache.
- Look around: I understand that we all get preoccupied with our thoughts, and travel from place to place without leaving time to appreciate, but the Moscow Metro is a sight to see in and of itself. Several of the stations around the central line are ornately decorated with specific themes. Some of the stations have detailed mosaics of historical events, lifelike statues, and even stained glass windows. Take your time, look around, and listen !
These are my few tips for managing the Moscow Metro! Good luck, safe travels!