From 5.30 till 24.00 St. Petersburg's streets are served by buses, trolleys, and trams (streetcars) covering 190 differing routes. There is also a large number of express buses and taxi-buses. Fares charged for journeys vary, but do not depend upon distance travelled. Payment for journeys on the city's public transportation is in cash; tickets should be bought from the conductor. Tickets entitle the holder to a single journey on a single route only. Information on times of tram, bus, and trolley-bus departures may be obtained through the following telephone numbers: 311-67-44, 271-11-01.
The main danger to look out for on public transportation in any city of the world is pickpockets. You should be particularly on guard during rush hours, when trams and buses are crowded. Beware of people who may offer to help you onto a tram or bus by pushing you up from behind, only for you to discover later that your pockets have been emptied. Pickpockets tend to operate in groups of three to four in order to create a crush deliberately.
Pickpockets are often masters of their art. Chances are, you won't be able to notice how they remove your wallet or purse from your bag or trousers pocket. Ladies' handbags present easy targets: they can be easily slit using a safety razor or a specially sharpened coin. Be especially wary of teenagers. In recent years the majority of pickpockets have come from this age group. Teenage girls are no exception. After stealing something, thieves instantly pass it on among themselves and disappear. We therefore offer the following tips for those travelling by public transport:
- avoid travelling at rush hours;
- do not get onto overcrowded trams, buses or trolleys, but wait for the next one;
- keep hold of bags; keep your money and documents in an inside pocket;
- if you notice a bag or parcel left in a bus, tram, or trolley-bus, do not touch it but tell the driver or conductor.
If you sense that your bag or pocket is being fingered, do not be afraid. Pickpockets are not armed and will run away given the first sign that they have been noticed. As for arresting a pickpocket, this is extremely difficult since a criminal prosecution can only be initiated if there are witnesses (in most cases, there are none). Leave this to the professionals in the police force.
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