The subway is without a doubt the fastest mean of transport in Moscow. Though the process is undergoing some changes, it is still common to purchase tickets in the old-fashioned way, via the ticket boxes, and to pay in cash. Credit cards are still not accepted in many places.
The boxes (booths) are always located at the entrance to the upper subway hall, in front of the entrance gate machines. At some stations they may be situated in a tunnel (an underground corridor), in front of the glass subway doors. The doors can be identified by the blue stickers on each one.
The ticket booths are covered, but the operators are visible behind the transparent bulkheads. You can begin the transaction by indicating the quantity of trips that you require.
It is possible to buy a one-way ticket, which is the cheapest option. When you buy an ordinary ticket for two trips you get a discount and save a little money. The next category is the ticket for five trips. The prices fluctuate because of the current rouble collapse, but one thing remains unchanged: the three upper lines on the pricelist are always the prices of the one, two and five-trip tickets. After the purchase, you always receive a receipt. One and three-ride tickets are valid for three days, while tickets for five rides or more are active for 90 days.
Please note that paper tickets are issued, and it is important to protect your ticket from water.
You can check whether or not the ticket is valid by placing the ticket on the red circle at the special yellow computer that is usually located close to the ticket box.
This computer scans the ticket in a second, and the text on its display emerges immediately. It does not matter if the text is in Russian; if the letters are green, the ticket is valid.
Every ticket has its own code, consisting of 10 numbers. You can see it on the back of the ticket.
The chip zone of the entrance gates is always lit up with a red point, which will turn green when you attach the ticket. You do not need to hold the ticket for long or to attach it twice; if you do, you could lose an extra ride.
If you have a big bag, which you do not want to put on the floor, just go through the open gates close to the main controller’s booth. These gates are always open for kids, as well as for people with large bags and boxes. If the controller does not speak your language, just show him/her your ticket and the bag. They will understand that your luggage is too big for the regular gates.