It has been a year since Metro officials began adding ticket vending machines in select Metro stations. Over 700 had been installed by the end of 2011 and officials now estimate that another 500 will be in operation by the end of next month.
It is thought that one in four Metro cashier windows are not open during peak travel hours due to a shortage of cashiers. Metro planners hope that the vending machines will ease some of the long lines at Metro ticket windows during those times.
Metro will need to carve out additional space for the new machine and they plan to eliminate many of the present newspaper and magazine vending machines now found in Metro halls. Approximately 120 stations now have пресс (press) vending for newspapers and periodicals.
To reduce congestion in the ticket selling areas the new vending machines will sell either one or two trip options, costing 28 rubles or 56 rubles (.94/$1.88) for riders who don’t need longer duration options. Passengers who ride the Metro frequently can purchase multiple trip tickets at Metro cashier windows.
No word on the fate of a small number of vending machines that sell caviar. Those machines were part of an experiment along Novy Arbat Metro entrances.