Transport in Kiev

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The city of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, has an extensive and rapidly developing transport infrastructure facilitating both local public needs and intensive external passenger and cargo traffic.


Main article: History of Kiev

Local public transport[edit]

Public transportation in Kiev includes the metro (underground), buses, trolleybuses, trams and funicular. The first records of public transportation date back to 1880s when the city had introduced some omnibuses for a short time and was looking for investors to implement horse-drawn trams in the city. Since then the whole city transportation system has changed dramatically. The most popular are Metro and marshrutkas (mini- or midibuses). The historic tram system, which is the oldest in the Eastern Europe once was a well maintained and widely used method of transport, is now gradually being phased out in favor of buses and trolleybuses.

Kiev Metro[edit]

A Kiev Metro train at Dnipro station.

The publicly owned and operated Kiev Metro system is the fastest, the most convenient and affordable network that covers most, but not all, of the city. The metro is continuously expanding towards the city limits to meet growing demand, while the other kinds of public transport are not as well maintained.


Main article: Kyivpastrans

"Kyivpastrans" municipal company operates the Kiev Tramway system, some city buses, and all trolleybuses and the funicular. Notable, they do not operate the Metro. There are both "Kyivpastrans"- and privately operated marshrutkas. The Kiev Urban Electric Train is a joint project of the "Kyivpastrans" and the Ukrzaliznytsia.

Riverine transport[edit]

Kiev riverport

The previously extensive riverboat service along the Dnieper featuring the Meteor and Raketa hydrofoil ships is no longer available, limiting Kiev's river transport to cargo and tour boats and private pleasure craft.


The Moskovskyi Bridge over the Dnieper river.

Kiev is a major crossing point for many of Ukraine's most important roads. The city represents the focal point of the Ukrainian 'national roads' system and is linked by high-quality road to many of the principal cities of Ukraine. In particular, the M05 highway, which links Kiev with Ukraine's fourth largest city, and most important port, Odessa, was thoroughly reconstructed in recent years and is eventually expected to be transformed into a fully grade-separated motorway; the same is also true of the M06 Kiev-Chop highway.

Section of the E95M05 highway near Kiev.

Currently Kiev lacks a major grade-separated ring road, and is served instead by two urban bypass routes. The Central Ring or 'Small Bypass Road' is a route made up of a number of interconnecting, high-capacity roads encircling the city centre; it provides a full circular route with sections on both the right and left banks of the Dnieper river. The central ring, however, often suffers from major congestion and at rush hour can typically be found with traffic at a stand still. A larger 'Big Bypass Road' does exist, however, due to funding cuts after the collapse of the Soviet Union and indecisive decisions of previous Kiev city councils, this road has no river crossings, and is thus confined to the city's right bank. Despite this, the larger second bypass road does serve somewhat to reduce the volume of transit traffic in the city centre.

The Kiev funicular.

There are currently plans to build a full-size, fully grade-separated ring road around Kiev. This road is to be known as 'KKAD' (ККАД), the 'Kiev Automotive Ring Road'. As of 2011 construction work has not begun on this project, although in 2011 prime minister Mykola Azarov promised that, in future state budgets, funding would be reserved for construction of the ring road,[1] the cost of which was estimated, in 2007, at around 5-5.5 billion US dollars.[2] Construction is currently planned to begin in 2012.[3]

Kiev roads are in poor technical condition and road maintenance is poor. According to Kyivavtodor (municipal road corporation) 80% of road surfaces in Kiev have been in use for 15 to 30 years, which is from 1.5 to 3 times more than the standard design period of 12 years.[4]

A Kiev municipal bus runs along Khreschatyk Street in the city centre.

All public road transport in Kiev is operated by the united Kyivpastrans[5] municipal company. It is heavily subsidized by the city as large groups of passengers (pensioners, etc.) are granted free service on its lines. The Kiev public transport system uses a simple tariff system regardless of distance traveled: tickets for ground transportation must be purchased each time a vehicle boarded. Discount passes are available for grade school and higher education students. Pensioners use public transportation free. Monthly passes, which are sold at the price of 60 rides, are also available in all combinations of public transportation: metro, bus, trolley and tram. Recently, privately owned minibuses, marshrutkas, have appeared on Kiev streets. They provide good coverage of smaller residential streets and have convenient routes. Minibuses take fewer passengers, run faster, stop on demand and are more available, although with an increased frequency of accidents. Ticket price and itinerary of private minibuses are regulated by the city government, and the cost of one ride, while higher than on public buses, is still far lower than in Western Europe.

The taxi market in Kiev is expansive but not adequately regulated. In particular, the taxi fare per kilometer is not regulated. There is strong competition between private taxi companies. Many allow scheduling a pick-up by phone. Also, it is quite common for a local with a car (or even people from other parts of Ukraine) to provide taxi service on the ad hoc basis, generally by picking up people looking for a taxi by the roadside. Traffic jams and lack of parking space are growing problems for taxi services in Kiev. Current regulations allow for parking on pavements, which pedestrians may find inconvenient.

Air transport[edit]

Air passengers arrive in Kiev through one of two airports: the Boryspil Airport which is served by many international airlines, and the smaller Zhulyany Airport, serving mostly domestic flights and limited flights to nearby countries. The international passenger terminal at Boryspil is small, yet modern, being expanded in 2006. There is a separate terminal for domestic flights within walking distance. Passengers flying to other countries from Ukraine usually travel through Boryspil, as other airports in Ukraine such as Donetsk, Simferopol, Odessa, provide very limited international connections. There is also Gostomel cargo airport in Kiev's north-western suburb of Hostomel.

Kiev is notable in the world of aviation industry as the headquarters for Antonov aircraft manufacturing company.


Main article: Ukrzaliznytsia
Simplified map of the major railway lines around Kiev.

Railways are Kiev’s main mode of intracity transportation; in particular the Kiev Metro is the mainstay of the city's public transport system. It was the first rapid transit system in Ukraine and the third built in the USSR (after the Moscow and St Petersburg Metros). The system now has three lines with a total length of 66.1 kilometres (41.1 miles) and 51 stations. The metro carries around 1.422 million passengers daily,[6] accounting for 38% of the Kiev's public transport load. In 2011, the total number of trips exceeded 519 million. One of the deepest stations in the world, Arsenalna (at 105.5 m or 346 ft),[7] is found on the system.

One more unusual mode of public transportation Kiev has is the funicular, that climbs up the steep right bank of the Dnieper River. It transports 10,000–15,000 passengers daily.

The city has a developed railroad infrastructure including a long-distance passenger station, 6 cargo stations, depots, and repairing facilities. However, this system still fails to meet the demand for passenger service. Particularly, the Kiev Passenger Railway Station is the city's only long-distance passenger terminal (vokzal).

Construction is underway for turning the large Darnytsia Railway Station on the left-bank part of Kiev into a long-distance passenger hub, which may ease traffic at the central station.[8] Bridges over the Dnieper River are another problem restricting the development of city’s railway system. Presently, only one rail bridge out of two is available for intense train traffic. A new combined rail-auto bridge is under construction, as a part of Darnytsia project.

In 2011 the Kyiv city administration established a new 'Urban Train' for Kiev. This service runs at standard 4-10-minute intervals throughout the day and follows a circular route around the city centre, which allows it to serve many of Kiev's inner suburbs. Interchanges between the Kiev Metro and Fast Tram exist at many of the urban train's station stops.[9]

Suburban 'Elektrichka' trains are run by the publicly owned Ukrainian Railways. The suburban train service is fast, and unbeatably safe in terms of traffic accidents. But the trains are not reliable, as they may fail significantly behind schedule, may not be safe in terms of crime, and the elektrichka cars are poorly maintained and are overcrowded in rush hours.

There are 5 elektrichka directions from Kiev:

More than a dozen of elektrichka stops are located within the city allowing residents of different neighborhoods to use the suburban trains.

Bridges in Kiev[edit]

Main article: Bridges in Kiev

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

  • Transport section of the official city tourism web site