I only got caught in what I came to call a "sardine bus" one time and I started taking ONLY uncrowded busses or marshrutkas. While some bus routes have new busses(like #150 for instance) many others have busses that are so old it miraculous they are still in service.
This one sardine occaison it was raining horribly(which it did often in summer) and people kept JAMMING in every stop. I cant complain because few people own a car and some are so poor,,,I am actually the one who should take alternate transport to be politically correct. But I kept hoping whoever was jammed up my backside was at least a femaleLOL
The bus had a leak in the cieling and water was dripping with regularity on one mans head and he actually didnt notice...at least he had a seat I guess LOL.
Use the many bus lines in Peter, if you don't want to dive into the realms of the undergroud traffic system and if your distances ar not that huge.
Just hop on a bus or small "van", make sure you purchase a ticket and ride on. There's nothing to worry about, even though some buses look 'old'.
It must be a very special experience to use these Trolley busses.
You can see them everywhere, and mostly they are very, very crowded. So it might be a bit dangerous as a tourist, as this a good place to work for the pickpockets.
Same as on the busses you do not need to buy a ticket, you need to buy this on the bus.
After the necessary passport control, I left the airport building towards the bus stop.
There I had to wait for a short time till Bus Nr 13 arrived.
It was a small yellow bus, and quickly it was filled with travellers who wished to enter the city.
Bus Nr 13 brought us from the St Petersburg Airport, Poelkovo 2 towards the Subway station Moskovskaya.
Price for the trip from the airport towards the Moskovskaja Metro station : 14 Roubles. (1 Euro = 35 Roubles). By the way you do not need to buy a ticket, just pay the fee to the driver.
THIS IS SOME ROUTES THAT I HAVE USED
hope it is helpful,will add more as and when :-)
K1-M.Sennaya Pl-Mariinsky Theatre-M.Narvskaya.
K13 M.Moskovskaya-Pl.Pobedy-Pulkovo 2
K169 M. Gostiny Dvor-Nevsky pr.-Isaakievskaya pl.-Mariinsky Theatre-M.Narvskaya.
K213 M.Sennaya pl.-M.Tekhnologichesky In.-M.Frunzenskaya-M.Moskovskie Vorota-M.Elektrosila-M.Park Pobedy-M.Moskovskaya-Pulkovo 2-Akademia Grazhdanskoy Aviatsy
K258 M.Vladimirskaya-Leteiny Bridge-M.Pl Lenina-Kondratievsky pr
Upon arrival by Air to St Petersburg, you will need to get to the city proper. The best way of doing so is to use the Number 13 bus from outside the Airport Terminal. It currently costs 12 pyb per person and takes about 10-15 minutes to get to just outside the Metro Station. A good visual clue is the McDonalds thats on the left hand side of the road. Once the bus has come around the War monument on the central island, thats a good time to be thinking of getting off :-)
If you use the Marshrutka (mini-bus) you will pay 14pyb for the trip and have a lot less leg room, which if you also have your travel baggage means you will be cramped. Other Buses and numbers are :-
N213 , N113
expect to see every 15 minutes or so
This was the easiest and cheapest way i found to get to St Petesburg. I flew from England to Helsinki ( I think you can find a cheap flight with www.ryanair.com ), and then took a night train to St Petersburg ( about 6hours in the bus ). I don't remember exactly how much i paid but it was less than 55Euros return. The bus company was Fjord Buses, good, clean buses... I had no trouble at all going and coming back... oh, except for the mosquitoes which were on board with us!
Buses and trams come less frequently than you might expect. I usually took the tram for four rubles (about twelve cents) a ride. On each tram sits a ticket seller whose job is simply to sell tickets. Of course, she won't usually insist that you buy a ticket. And no one else checks to see if you have a ticket. Except occasionally when one or two fellows get on and start demanding to see everyone's ticket or pass. No ticket, instant fine. (In the week I was there, it happened twice.) The most remarkable thing about the trams is the fact that they are running at all. It's impossible to tell how old they are, although I never boarded one that appeared to be anything newer than a relic from World War Two. In an entire week, I rode in one tram--count 'em--that had functioning heat. Interior windows were usually completely iced over.
(Okay, okay...so this is not a contemporary picture. It IS a picture of a St. Petersburg tram nevertheless. You can find it and some other fascinating historical pictures of the city at http://www.alexanderpalace.org/petersburg1900/toc.html
The busses, ("avtobus" in Russian), "Tralebuses" and "Tramvais" can be seen all over the city. They all feature very precise way to reach your destination. Now the tricky part is to figure out which one goes where. The 'tramvai" is the slowest out of the three. Some rides in those types of transportation can be amusing, if you want to ride around/discover the city. However they get "stuffed" with a capital S during rush hours, so my advise is to avoid them then.
Mashrutka's are basically knackered minibuses which are licensed to carry people along designated routes around the city.
They stop generally anywhere and to stop you have to say the Russian word for stop which is something like 'Astan-OV-ka' with a 'pa-ZHAL-sta' thrown in for politeness.
It costs anything from 6 to 12 roubles a trick (not much really). Some of the mashrutki are dead modern, but usually they are pants.
They are usually white and will have a number on the front and side. You have to pay the driver when you get in so make sure you have change. They don't accept Amex or any other card.
From the UK, travel, accomodation & visa application can be handled by Intourist.
I travelled by bus from Tallinn Estonia, with Eurolines (dep 21-30, arr 06-25). If you arrange travel independently, you will need to send copies of your tickets to and from Russia with your visa application.
This photo is of a local Russian bus.
The busses and trams look like they should be at the wreckers but they still provide an essential form of cheap transport. For most travellers though, the metro is the way to go. The stations are all labelled in Cyrillics so it's a good idea to learn those quickly. You'll find the stations themselves are almost sights to see as they are all done in marble and with the exception of Moscow, would have to be the most lavish station decor. They were also built as emergency bomb shelters and go very deep underground. Fortunately the escalators are fast and don't appear to break down, otherwise it's a long and steep walk up!.
The public transportation in S-Petersberg suffers from the not sufficient amount of lines and vechicles and of poor condition of those vechicles. There are metro (underground), buses, troleybuses and trams. The metro is naturally the fastest and most reliable transport. But there is no metro communication in many parts of the city, even in the centre. All the transport is overcrowded in rush hours. Overcrowded means that you can hardly fit inside the vechicle, not saying about taking a sitting place. Generally there is no schedule for the public transport, you come to the stop or station and wait until it arrive. Buses (and all the other transport) stop at every stop, even when there is nobody staying there or willing to get off.
The alternatives to the public transportation are mini-buses ('marshrutka') and taxis. Marshrutka has room for about 15 people. Marshrutkas' routes are usually the same as those of common buses, but shorter. You can find them at every metro station.
Taxi is extremly cheap for Western standards. For about 40 roubles you can get to any place within centre of the city. Often the taxis are just private cars whose owners want to earn some extra money.
If you can, avoid using buses and mini buses, they are bad, old, crowded and they take as many people as they can get in and you will need to queue and push to get in anyway.