Russian Bus FAQ
Q: How to Find a Bus Station
"Bus station" in Russian is "Avtos`tantsiya" ("автостанция"). The first place to look for a bus station is next to the main railway station of the city. If you can't find it around there, then ask any person something like: "excuse me, where's bus station?" - "izvi`nite, gde avtos`tantsiya?" - "извините, где автостанция". Most likely, the person will recommend you to take a bus ("avtobus" - "автобус") from the railway station that'll take you directly to the bus station (there's always such bus, connecting the railway station and the bus station).
In big cities, such as Moscow and St. Petersburg, you'll have to take the metro, and the bus station will be just next to the metro exit.
The Shchyolkovskaya bus station is opened from 6.30 to 23.00.
For bus schedules between Moscow and other cities featured on WayToRussia.Net guide, see Transport / Domestic Bus Schedules.
Directions: go to Shchyolkovskaya metro station (the last station to the east on the dark blue line), take the first carriage from the centrum. As you walk out, there'll be many stalls and little shops around, and a bit further - a large building with "Avtostantsiya" written on top. That's the bus station.
A Russian PAZ bus / photo by pingklr@FlickR
Q: How to Read the Bus Timetable
There'll be usually two times written, one is obviously the time of departure (vremya otprav`lenie - время отправления), another is the time of arrival (vremya pribytiya - время прибытия).
If you feel like talking to the people or information office, use the phrase "when the bus to .... (e.g. Novgorod) departs?" - "kog`da otprav`lyaetsya av`tobus v Novgorod?" - "когда отправляется автобус в Новгород?".
Once you know the times, you need to know the prices. The price - "tse`na" - "цена". It's better to buy the tickets one way (v o`din konets - в один конец), because there're no discounts for return tickets anyway, and there's a risk a salesperson won't understand what you want.
The prices vary, but are surely less than the train prices.
The prices for foreigners are the same as for Russians.
Write down all the information you got to show it to the ticket sales person. When she (usually women work there) tells you something, ask her to write it down, so you'd check if you understand each other.
Try to do everything to find if the ticket you need is available, there's nothing worth standing in a line for 2 hours, to learn that there are no more tickets left.
Q: How to Buy a Bus Ticket
Once you're close to the kassa window, prepare all you've written down, and show your paper to the person selling the tickets. Useful phrases are "one ticket to .... (e.g. Novgorod), please" - "o`din bi`let v `novgorod, po`zhaluista" - "один билет в Новгород, пожалуйста". Be prepared there'll be no tickets left.
Once you've got the ticket, stay next to the window, and check the change and the data on the ticket. Sometimes, there's nothing informative written on the ticket, so it's only left to hope it's ok.
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