Kyiv is going cashless with the introduction of a smart card system for transport in the city. Where can it be used and what are the benefits?
Bulk buy trips in advance to save up to 18%
Introduced in February 2019, a new smart card system has been installed in Kyiv and is currently operational on buses, trolleybuses, trams, metro system and the funicular. You can buy a smart card and then add money online or at kiosks so you can pay for transport without cash. No more fumbling about for change and finding the conductor, just tap your card and done.
Whilst it’s not recommended for short stays due to the cost of the card, if you are staying an extended time it will make things easier for you and save you some money if you travel lots by public transport.
A predecessor to the Kyiv Smart Card was the green metro card which worked in a similar way, but only on the metro system.
How & Where to Buy
The best place to buy a smart card is in the ticket office of metro stations. Just go to the window and ask for a Kyiv Smart Card. The price is 50 UAH.
Prices, Discounts & Adding Money
A standard trip on most transport in Kyiv is 8 UAH. However, if you bulk buy trips in advance this can be just 6.50 UAH:
- 1-9 trips – 8 UAH
- 10-19 trips – 7.70 UAH
- 20-29 trips – 7.40 UAH
- 30-39 trips – 7.10 UAH
- 40-49 trips – 6.80 UAH
- 50 trips – 6.50 UAH
The way to do this is go online to the Kyiv City Portal, register for an account and:
- Attach your Smart Card by entering the card number and pin code on the back
- Click on Одноразові поїздки / One Time Trips
- Choose the number of trips and as you increase the discount will be reflected
- Pay by debit/credit card
Unfortunately this portal is not in English and does not work well on mobile.
You can also just top up money using electronic kiosks in the city and any fares will be deducted from your balance, but you won’t get any discounts.
As of May 2019, there is also now an app you can use to manage your account including topping up, journey history and buying single use tickets, available here (Ukrainian language only).
How to Use
Simply tap on the orange validators in buses and trams and the validator will flash green and show you how many trips you have remaining.
On the metro and funicular, there are special gates marked with Kyiv Smart Card in blue and often a large arrow on the floor. Just tap and walk through.
You can view the history of your trips on the Kyiv City Portal under
Історія поїздок / Trip History.
As a new technology in the city, it’s still being developed and evolving. There are plans to bring the payments to Marshrutkas later in 2019, but quite how this will work is not known. Pricing needs to be standardised as this currently varies between routes.
On the metro you can tap in multiple times so you can pay for other people at the same time, but on buses and trams you can only tap in once and subsequent taps within a short period will be ignored.
Other improvements could be to forgo the smart card all together and implement PayPass Contactless or Apple Wallet/Google Pay tap ins like on London Transport (you can already use PayPass on the metro). We’re not aware of any plans for this currently unfortunately.
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