Saint Petersburg Metro

начальник метрополитена Гарюгин Владимир Александрович

The first stage of Saint Petersburg (formerly Leningrad) Metro construction was put on hold due to the outbreak of World War II but in 1944 some workers and architects were sent back from the battlefields. At that time, the construction of the underground system was seen as a military mission. Ten years later, when the first underground section between Avtovo and Ploshchad Vosstaniya stations was inaugurated the first passengers were dazed by the beauty of the fist metro stations - they resembled palaces. It gave people hope for a new, peaceful life where there was no place for suffering.

The blue metro trains always meeting the schedule have turned the underground transport system into a modern underground city. They are often associated with the beginning of a new life. Many generations of Saint Petersburg citizens waited for their dates right under the blue letter M - the logo of the network which can be seen in front of any metro station.

In 2013, the metro system consisted of 67 stations, 3,5 thousand trains operating on 5 metro lines and carrying 2,3 million passengers per day and around 14,5 thousand workers taking good care of the system.

Saint Petersburg Metro is not only a complex transport system but also a continuously developing company aimed at offering transport services to many generations of inhabitants of the great city.


In 2009, Zvenigorodskaya station was opened for passengers followed by Obvodnoy Kanal station in 2010.

The design of Obvodnoy Kanal station was inspired by Saint Petersburg by-pass canal. It was the first time that the water blocking elements were used as an architectural shape. The track walls are decorated with glass panoramas: laser printed images underwent high-temperature treatment. The 300 metres long panorama depicts the by-pass canal before the Revolution of 1917, as well as bridges, churches and factories which contributed to the industrial revolution. The station design was done by B. Podolsky, P. Malmalaev and artist A. Gordin.

The deep stations make Saint Petersburg Metro truly unique. Overground stations are almost nonexistent in Saint Petersburg Metro. The four overground stations Kupchino, Devyatkino, Rybatskoe and Parnas are terminal stations located next to the railway lines thus providing easy interchanges.

The deepest station of Russia (Admiralteiskaya) was inaugurated in 2011 after 20 years of construction works. It is centrally located and is close to the city’s main tourist attractions. In 1994, the mayor of Saint Petersburg A. Sobchak approved of the construction of the station entrance hall after having resettled the people who used to live in the houses nearby. In 1997, the underground station building structures were ready but the lack of funding and the problems with making an exit in the water-saturated ground put the project on hold. Despite the fact that the station was almost ready, the trains did not stop there. Admiralteyskaya was often dubbed as a ghost station.

The place for the station vestibule was finalised in 2007. To build the ticket hall and the escalator shafts of the station the metro construction company OAO Metrostroi purchased a modern tunnel boring machine (TMB) produced by the German manufacturer Herrenknecht AG. The TBM guaranteed a high level of works safety in restrained urban conditions.

Thanks to the new technology only one house had to be pulled down to make space for ticket hall construction works. The works began in 2009.

Never before had a TMB made an inclined tunnel at an angle of 30 degrees, which presented a real challenge for metro workers and their German colleagues. They had to make an inclined shaft of one of the deepens metro stations in Russia. The quicksand, small construction site and the proximity of residential houses made the task even more complicated. Admiralteiskaya station built with the use of new technologies helped to decrease passenger traffic at Gostiny Dvor and Nevsky Prospekt stations.

Bukharestskaya and Mezhdunarodnaya stations inaugurated in 2012 were the last projects designed in the Soviet times.

Day in and day out

Any metro system can be compared with a military unit and its operations lie in the hands of the head office which is also responsible for the work of other units.

Saint Petersburg Metro has a complex organisational structure with over 20 departments and 14 thousand workers and specialists. The most important departments are Operations, Track Department, Signaling Department, Power Supply Department, Rolling Stock Department, Tunneling Department, Electrical-Mechanical Department and Escalators Department. The head office also controls the work of the Technical and Technological Department, Passenger Transportation Department, Information Security Department, Technical school, college, sanatorium and clinic.

In 1980, Leningrad hosted the Olympic Games. This brought about a fundamental change in passenger information services. A special information office connected to the stations was created. Metro maps were put up in ticket offices, and electric panels showing the route and the time to destination were installed. At the same time, the first pictograms appeared and special signs in dangerous areas were put up.

After the opening of the fifth metro line in 2008, a brand new passenger information system was introduced. It was based on the experience of international metro systems. One year later, the system was installed at the existing stations and the new ones.

The modern signs, pictograms and colour schemes were aimed at improving passenger flow in the metro and at making the travel faster and more enjoyable.

The information panels featuring metro rules, metro maps, fare information and city maps were put up not only in ticket offices but also on platforms. As Saint Petrsburg is visited by many international tourists all the names of the stations are also written in latin characters. Some ticket halls also feature the information about the history of the place they are located in. The metro is involved in finding the necessary historic information and photos.

These changes are vitally important for the development of Saint Petersburg as a European cultural and tourist centre.

Providing safety and security of the passengers is another important goal of the metro administration and police. They have been working together to introduce the complex automatic information system of the metro’s anti-terrorist protection (КАСИП АЗМ).

The first system was installed between 2006 and 2009. It consists of CCTV, access control systems, signaling, a unified digital radio system, a fiber-optic network etc. A unified Control Centre was launched in 2008. It collects all the information, controls the radio, CCTV, signaling systems and the work of the ventilation shafts.

The Centre controls the operation of the metro with the help of CCTV, access control and signaling systems.

At the end of 2011, all metro stations and ticket halls were fitted out with information panels with two buttons: SOS and information. Thus, metro workers are always there to help people in emergency situations and to provide information about the best routes or the work of the metro system. The panels are fitted out with touch screens: the fare information, station closures and the plans of further metro development are just a few taps away. Interactive maps help passengers to find the best route and to calculate their travel time. The panels are equipped with cameras and speakers and children can even watch cartoon series about the behaviour in the metro.

To improve safety and security, all stations of Saint Petersburg Metro were fitted out with special devices (explosion proof boxes, metal detectors, portable explosives detectors, X-ray TV complexes) in 2011. 35 stations feature luggage control points and 5 stations are fitted out with radiation control equipment. This is a series of actions carried out as part of a complex programme of providing safety and security of passengers in public transport. It is funded by the federal and city government and is scheduled to be completed in 2013.

Saint Petersburg metro was one of the first metro systems in Russia to introduce electronic travel cards, including those with microchips. Unlike the unified travel cards of previous generations, the electronic tickets ensure passenger flow monitoring. Saint Petersburg metro was the first metro system in Russia to introduce the Automated fare collection system which has improved the efficiency of the system.

The tickets with magnetic stripes were replaced by smart cards and now an e-purse has appeared. Passengers no longer have to buy a ticket for a trip - they can keep a certain amount of money in their e-purse and the money will be deducted every time they use the metro. In the future, this will help differentiate the fare prices based on the frequency of travel, the pre-paid amount and the chosen route. The same e-purse can be used in overground transport and railways.


Key Performance Indicators, 2013  
Total operational length (two tracks), km 113,52
Number of lines 5
Number of stations  67
            including number of stations with one exit  59
Metro system density ( per city km.) 0,079
Number of pairs of trains per hour  34
Minimum headway, sec 87
Fulfilment of train schedule, % 99,91
Inventory rolling stock, cars 1559
Rolling stock in operation, cars  1528
Total car/km, mio. 205,16
Number of depots 6
Average operational train speed, km/h. 51,01
Average train speed, km/h. 38,94
Power consumption, mio. kWh 545,07
             including power for train traction, mio. kWh  355,5
Specific energy consumption for traction, Wh per t/km  48,79
Number of substations  70
Length of power cable systems, km  13100
Number of escalators in operation 251
Number of stations with escalators  60
Length of lines equipped with speed control systems, km., including: 125,33
             as a main signaling system, km.  47,65
             with seamless track circuit, km. 34,49
Number of switches 467
Number of ventilation shafts in operation 129
Number of ventilators in operation 266
Number of water drainage installations 311
Operational length of tunnels, km. 227,04
Staff responsible for operations, pers. 14499
Total ridership, mio. pax. 768,1
Average daily ridership, mio. pax. 2,5
Cost of transportation of 1 passenger, rub. 24,51
Modal share, % 43
































Metro headquarters:
28, Moskovsky pr., Saint Petersburg, 190013
+7 812 316 14 41