Palace of the People

Dear Reader,

If you follow my blog, you may have caught on that I am a big fan of public transportation, the subway in particular. I live in Boston, which has a pretty good subway system. The “T,” short for MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority) covers several Boston neighborhoods, as well as nearby areas (including Brookline, Quincy, Dorchester, etc). Although I appreciate (and desperately need) the T, I must say, the T cannot hold a candle to Moscow’s subway station.

Yes, Dear Reader, that’s right, although the Americans may have “won” the space race, the Russians reign supreme when it comes to the science of the metro. Opened in 1935, the Moscow Metro was the very first system of its kind in the Soviet Union. The Moscow Metro is better (both objectively and in my own opinion), for the following reasons:

St. Petersburg Metro, Russia, fall 2014

Wait Time

In Boston, the wait time for a train can vary widely, depending on the time of day. However, on average, I would say it is normal to wait 5 or 6 minutes for a train. On the Moscow Metro, trains LITERALLY come every two minutes. The stations are busy, and the trains are crowded, but you will never likely have to wait long on the platform.

St. Petersburg Metro, fall 2014

Aesthetic Appeal

Boston’s T, as far as American subway stations go, is good! It covers a lot of the city; it runs at normal interval and it is definitely better than some other cities’ transport systems (I’m looking at you NYC). While the T is good, the Russian subway systems are great; they are meant to be the underground “Palace of the People.” Above ground, Russia has the palaces formerly belonging to the royals, including the Winter and Summer palaces, however the metro, takes some of this majesty and puts it on display for the average Muscovite. The Russian metros (I’m limiting this statement to systems I’m familiar with – St. Petersburg and Moscow) look very nice. Specifically, they are designed in elegant ways. Some stations like Arbatskaya in Moscow and Admiralteyskaya in St. Petersburg are decorated in a palace-like fashion and are even equipped with artwork, stained glass, and chandeliers. Other stations are also nice; however, they are decorated in modern fashions and are covered with steel or in other quirky ways.

Moscow Metro, fall 2019

Extensive Service

Moscow is a big city and the Metro actually serves a lot of it! One of the biggest differences between service, in my opinion, between Boston and Moscow is that Moscow has a “brown line.” The brown line in Moscow creates a circle across the city and connects the city from the North, East, South, and West corners. In this way, if one is traveling from the North to the West of Moscow, one could simply change over to the brown line to get there. This is different in Boston. In Boston, to get from the same locations, one would need to travel south to the city center, changes lines and then travel West. The Moscow way certainly cuts down on time.

If you’re ever in Moscow (or St. Petersburg), Dear Reader, make sure to visit the palace of the people!


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