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Yerevan’s metro – the underground transport system (launched in 1981), is a true blessing on hot summer days. The Soviet built metro serves 10 stations and is only 13,4 kilometers long short. I mean – it is quite short actually and mostly serves the central Yerevan. The number of passengers is surprisingly quite low, ranging between 40-42 thousand on regular working days, although it’s the cheapest public transport available costing less than 15 cents (50 drams).
The metro wasn’t very fit for tourists until recently, as all signs were only in Armenian and Russian. About a month ago I met a lost French tourist in “Baghramian” station. The poor woman had no idea where she was and where to go – looking at the map in her hands with a lost expression on her face. I accompanied her all the way to “Hanrapetakan” (Republic Square) metro station, so she could find her hotel.
Luckily, things are changing. We heard back in February, that the government, which subsidizes about half of Yerevan metro’s budget by providing around 1 billion drams, has decided to allocate an additional 400 million drams for renovation works. Those works are now complete at “Yeritasardakan” metro station – everything looks pretty good, and most importantly – there are now signs also in Latin latters (English), which is surely a welcome addition for tourists.
More importantly, since February 14, 2009, Yerevan’s metro redesigned its old payment system and now they have magnetic plastic payment cards.
“Zoravar Andranik” metro station, where I arrived while making the video posted above, has not been renovated yet, and only bares signs in Armenian and Russian. Same holds true for most of the other stations I’ve been to recently – but change is coming!