"Busses, Trams, "Machinas"" Odessa Transportation Tip by bilgeez
Odessa Transportation: 35 reviews and 49 photos
Odessa has a very extensive public transportation system. It has busses and trams that are very cheap, about 10 cents US per trip. They run from very early morning until midnight or so, but are not 24 hours! They are very crowded, so don't expect to sit unless you travel late in the evening. To pay, one must have local currency, no tickets are issued. Only residents can get passes. One pays the 50 kopeki fare to a woman who circulates the bus or tram collecting fares, she usually has a blue vest or smock on. If you don't pay when she asks for fare, she will throw you off at the next stop! No. They won't cheat you and try to get more fare out of you after you first pay, sometimes they hand you a small receipt, sometimes they don't.
If one wants to travel in less crowded, more comfortable accomodations, one can catch a "machina". This is a minibus that holds up to 24 passengers. They are usually white, but some are green or red or blue. They run routes and have yellow route cards in the front window and sides of the bus that have route number and major streets they travel. One can hail these anywhere, like a taxi. But they only go certain routes, so try to find out if the machina goes to where you want to go. Most drivers only speak Russian, so if you don't know it, you may have trouble finding out if they are going where you want to go.
Once one gets on, pay the 1,25 Hrv. fare to the driver (about 25 cents, US) or sit and pass it up. If the machina is busy, one may spend most of the trip passing fares up and change back. If you don't want to do this, sit in the back. When one wants to get off, one alerts the driver and they will stop as soon as they can, usually at the next corner.
Machinas are comfy, have tour bus type seats, and many are air-conditioned. They may be worth the extra cents, but drivers will pack them full, so one may end up standing on these as well, but it is less likely than on a tram or bus.
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