The desire to own a car seems to be an unstoppable human urge, but the facts are that the feet, the 53-year metro system and the occasional taxi are usually the fastest and most reliable ways to get around the center of the city at most hours of the day. Trains, buses or airplanes also do the trick nicely for travel from one big city to another within Ukraine.

Kyiv’s metro first came online in 1960, with the opening of the red Sviatoshinska-Brovarska line. The city now has four lines and 51 stations. It’s not enough. The system is running at a financial deficit and, despite being one of the few blessings of the Soviet era, is hampered by outdated management and ticketing practices.

Fortunately, city transportation authorities have studied other European capitals and decided to replace the token with an electronic plastic card that would also be good for rides on the city’s buses and trams.

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