Payment for transport since 2013

Below is a summary of how new system works

‘Edinyi’ (‘United', blue ones with letter 'E')
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Since 2013 Moscow government decided to develop and enhance transport payment system, introducing new «90 minutes» ticket, valid for changing various means of transport for 90 minutes.

Majakovskaya metro station, Moscow. Ticket offices
pinterest button Majakovskaya metro station, Moscow. Ticket offices   Zac Allan, Public Domain

Resulting system got complicated and a bit confusing, and information stands does not often help, and are mostly in Russian. 

  • Current system covers trams, trolleybuses, buses (with municipal microbuses and some twitches for New Moscow), metro, monorail and partly local trains. Integration with marshrutkas was announced to occur later, but with no further detail.
  • One of the key points of the reform is gradual reducing and discontinuing of selling tickets for 1 and 2 trips (except «90 minutes» ones) in manned booths in metro stations and by drivers in public transport, which were time bottlenecks for Moscow transport. From July 2013 public drivers sell only «90 minutes» tickets for 1-2 trips, or TATs for 4 or 40 trips. Tickets for 1-2 trips for public transport can be bought now only in manned or automated on-ground booths, which are prone for being out of service or early close respectively. It is announced that price only for those kinds of tickets (TATs/"Unified" for 1-2 trips) may rise significantly since 2014.
  • Alternative for those, who pass Moscow and would use public transport only once, would be rechargeable electronic payment card «Troika», currently on sale in metro manned booths (with 50 roubles refundable deposit for the card) or other types of banking cards that can pay for transport. Payments for the trips for banking cards are fixed, regardless of trips. «Troika» now supports «writing on» several types of multi-trip tickets, including seasonal tickets for local trains, but possible combinations are limited. Money, accumulated on 'Troika' will not be removed, so you will be able to use it again on your next trip to Moscow (if nothing will change since then).
  • Monorail fares are now equated with metro ones. With insignificant exceptions all tickets that are valid on metro, are valid on monorail with the same conditions (previously they were separated)
  • All tickets for fixed multiple amount of trips, starting from 4 trips, are now valid for 90 days. As the new system suggests that if you live in Moscow for a long period, you keep and use all new 3 kinds of tickets, prolonged period of being valid is essential. Tickets for 1-2 trips are though valid only for 5 days.
  • Cheapest ticket, available from public transport driver, costs 50 roubles: and it is only «90 minutes». «TAT» for 4 trips or «90 minutes» for 2 trips cost 100 rub. Sometimes it stimulates drivers to take cash from passengers, who refuse to pay 50 roubles, even though it's against regulations.
  • New reform introduce following three types of tickets:
    • Public transport tickets «TAT» (now in yellow color) — mostly remain as they were. Valid for fixed amount on trips on tram, trolleybus and bus. There are tickets for 1,2,4,5,11,20,40 and 60 trips; you can also use 'Troika'. Price per trip starts from 25 roubles per trip for tickets on 1-4 trips, 26 roubles from 'Troika' and goes to 12.5 roubles per trip for 60-trip tickets. Selling limitations: currently drivers sell tickets only for 4 and 40 trips (100 and 700 roubles respectively. In practice, however, not all of those kind of tickets may be available from driver, because unlike booths, they are preprinted. Alternatively some drivers just take the pay directly, although it is against regulations, or may just ignore you passing the validator and not paying, even though doing so is not recommendable.
    • Seasonal 'TAT's are now only available as smart-cards for 30,90 and 365 days. Other types of seasonal tickets now either include metro and monorail (and are more expensive) or are for suburb buses (4 types: just suburb, 400 bus to Zelenograd, «New Moscow», «New Moscow plus connections»), which are all not especially tourist ones.
    • «Edinyi» («United», blue ones with letter 'E'), are what previously were metro tickets. Now you can use them in metro, monorail and public transport, price will be the same everywhere (even though they are more expensive, then 'TAT'). They are available for 1,2,5,11,20,40,60 trips with price from 30 to 20 roubles per trip, depending on the ticket. None of those are available from the drivers. Tickets for 1 and 2 trips are going to be discontinued soon. Alternatively on metro you can use 'Troika' with 28 roubles per trip (for technical reasons it may be not available on monorail yet).
    • Seasonal «E» tickets include ticket that is called «Tourist», which is valid for 24 hours for any means of transport (metro, monorail, public) and costs 200 roubles. However you may found that this is rather expensive. Other seasonal tickets include smart-cards for any means of transport for 30,90 and 365 days (rather expensive as well), and monthly tickets for any transport, that allows only 70 trips on metro or monorail (previously this ticket was known as «E» ticket). With this change seasonal tickets only for metro or monorail were removed, which may be inconvinient for those who use only these means of transport, which is quite widespread in Moscow.
    • Finally, «90 minutes» (green coloured). Available for 1,2,5,11,20,40 and 60 trips, with price from 50 to 30 roubles per trip. Tickets for 1 and 2 trips should be available from drivers and not discontinued there, though in practice it may not always be the fact. Number of available changes is a bit tricky: general rule is that any amount of trips is allowed if their start times are within 90 minutes from the first trip. However only one of all those trips can be a metro or monorail trip. However even though special exception allows you to change from metro to monorail or back within this one allow metro/monorail trip:
      • If you first go by metro within one «90 minutes trip», you can enter monorail then on «Timiryazevskaya» or «Exhibition Centre» («Vystavochniy centr») stations once. Time allowed for entering monorail will be 90 minutes since the start of metro trip (not first trip).
      • Conversely if you took monorail first you can change to metro then, starting metro trip within 90 minutes after monorail trip, only if you will enter metro on «Timiryazevskaya» or «VDNH» stations.
      • Information about minutes, available for change, are obtained best from yellow information terminals on metro and monorail entrance halls, all details will be specified there. Validators in metro and monorail will display «Peresadka» («Change») word when validating «90 minutes» ticket for the change. When boarding public transport, though, you can get information about minutes, available for change only when you validate your card in the validator, so if you're running close, you risk being charged for another «90 minutes» trip unknowingly (including, for example, cases, when clocks are not synchronized enough).
      • In practice, «90 minutes» tickets proved to be convinient for long trips, when you have to change from public transport to metro and back. However, making several only public transport on «90 minutes» not always works so good, because depending on the traffic congestion (both car and passenger), transport intervals, need to change to marshrutkas, which sometimes just too perfectly integrated in transport system, or suburban trains depending on your direction and breaks for shopping (which might seem a good idea) you may end using «90 minutes» ticket only for 2 and sometimes even 1 transport ride or just going too slow, and sometimes even 2 'TAT's may be cheaper then one «90 minutes». The rule of thumb for using «90 minutes» would be always if change to metro is involved; for public transport-only routes take it if you're really sure in your route, and if you're sure that you're going to take at least 3 rides within (or 2 if you don't care of details). In other cases other variants are worse considering.