The Citizen Taxi

1 min read    1 comment

It's fair to say that you haven't experienced Russia until you've taken advantage of the bizarre Russian custom of using ordinary citizens for taxis. With official taxis far too expensive for regular St. Petersburgers, a cheap alternative is to wave down the nearest passing car. Simply stand on the side of the road and hold out and your hand, hitchhiker-style, and no more than three or four cars will pass by before someone pulls up. After that you simply say where you want to go, they say how much they want (usually 50-200 roubles, depending where you're heading). If you like the price you get in, if not you slam the door shut and they drive off. Magic!

Whether this custom is a result of capitalist entrepreneurialism, or of the Soviet spirit of camaraderie is up for debate (probably a combination of the two!), but it is certainly a quick and easy - not to mention interesting - way to get around town.

Whereas you are unlikely to run into any trouble, the usual caveats of hitching a ride on your own, or as a group of females-only apply. A little knowledge of Russian is also important to ensure you reach the right destination and understand how much you are to pay!


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United States

Do not use the services of private taxi drivers - always cheated! In St. Petersburg, many official taxi! Usually use the "Russian taxi." Operators speak English, the problems will not be ordered. Journey to the center of the Pulkovo - about 1000rub. Phone +78127777000 website

Reply Feb 15th, 2013