Kirill Polyakov: fans of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ will be provided with free transportation
In a few months, Russia for the first time in its history will host the FIFA World Cup. How many free trains have been prepared for the fans, how to get a free ride on Aeroexpress, buses and commuter trains, how many hours before the match the trains will arrive and whether hot meals will be provided in them: interview of Kirill Polyakov, Director General of ANO “Transport Directorate of 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™“, with RIA Novosti.
– Is the schedule of free trains for transportation of the fans during the World Cup ready? How many trains will there be, and how many berths will there be in them?
– For the moment, the schedule of 728 trains with a total capacity of more than 440 thousand berths is approved. All of them are already available for booking on tickets.transport2018.com.
Trains will not just run from point to point, they will make stops in some cities along the route to pick up and drop off the fans. When the list of intermediate stops is approved, it will be possible to book a berth on a train from such cities to the host cities and back.
Trains are popular – for the moment, the fans have booked over 63 thousand tickets. Over 20 trains have been booked in full, and in 20 more trains less than 10 available berths are left.
– What does a fan need to board a free train?
– To use free transportation service, you need to buy a ticket for a World Cup match and to have a Fan ID issued. With these documents, registration on our website and ticketing for additional trains are available.
When boarding a train, a fan will have to present his/her national passport, Fan ID and a match ticket (or confirmation of presence of a match ticket).
– What are the conditions for low-mobility persons in free trains?
– In each train there is a compartment for low-mobility persons. There are special booking conditions for such compartments. A person should send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, indicating necessary personal data about himself/herself and his/her companion, the direction of interest and other data necessary for ticketing, and our staff will book the corresponding berth. Currently, 38 such compartments have already been booked.
– Is it possible to board a train with a child, if he/she does not have a match ticket?
– Not yet so far, but in a draft order of the Ministry of Transport there is a rule that for children under five boarding without a Fan ID will be allowed, if they travel on the same berth with an adult, that is, one adult can take one child. As soon as the document is approved, every fan registered on tickets.transport2018.com will have an opportunity to apply for and obtain a free trip for a child and receive a boarding pass in his/her personal account.
– How will transportation to Kaliningrad be realized?
– To travel by an additional train to Kaliningrad, Russian fans will need to have a valid foreign passport and a document permitting transit passage through the territory of the Republic of Lithuania. In the absence of permits for transit passage through the Republic of Lithuania, an opportunity to obtain permission for transit passage through the territory of the Republic of Lithuania will be granted (a simplified form of Lithuanian border crossing).
To travel by an additional train to Kaliningrad, foreign fans will need to have a document proving their identity and a document permitting transit passage through the territories of the Republic of Lithuania and the Republic of Belarus.
– Until what date will it be possible to book tickets for a free train?
– Virtually until the last moment, given that there are vacant berths on the train. But the dynamics of booking berths on trains is good, they are in demand, so I do not recommend putting it off till the last moment.
With your help I would like to refer to those fans who have booked a berth on a free train, but for some reason will not use it: in case of refusal to travel, it is necessary to cancel the booking and boarding pass. Such cancellation will allow us to reopen the booking for the berth, and a greater number of willing persons will be able to enjoy the right of free transportation to matches.
– How long before and after a match will trains arrive/depart?
– Trains will arrive no later than three hours before a match. This applies to all free trains and all host cities. They will depart two or three hours after the end of a match at the earliest, depending on the city and the distance between the stadium and the station.
– When does a fan need to arrive at a train station to board a free train?
– Absolutely the same as with a normal train ride – in advance. It is advisable to arrive at the station about 40 minutes before the train departure, but boarding process for the additional trains in certain cases can start earlier.
The stations capacity during the World Cup will be increased. Additional frames, screening equipment and screening personnel are envisaged. At all train stations, from where additional trains will depart, the Directorate employees will be present. They will wear a special uniform. A fan can approach them with any problem: if he/she lost the ticket, missed the train, etc.
– Will there be a dining car in additional trains, and will alcohol be available there?
– In each long-distance train there will be a dining car, in which there will be an opportunity to buy hot meals. The drinks that are permitted by law will also be available in the dining car. All current travel regulations of the Russian Federation will be applicable to additional trains during the World Cup.
– Will there be quotas for journalists for free train travel to host cities?
– Yes, we proposed to amend the draft law, pending approval by the State Duma, securing the right of free travel for journalists. I think that it will be adopted in the near future. After that, FIFA will provide us with a list of accredited journalists, and we will enable them to book free tickets via tickets.transport2018.com.
A journalist will have to enter personal data and the number of his/her accreditation after registration. We will check with FIFA the accreditation validity and if everything is fine, a train berth booking opportunity will become available.
– How will free transportation of fans be organized in the host cities?
– Each city has its own plan of transport routes for the World Cup, including free shuttles from the airports, trams, trolleybuses, etc. In Moscow, free Aeroexpress will also be available for fans. In some cities (e.g., in Moscow, St Petersburg, Samara, Volgograd, Yekaterinburg, Saransk, Kazan, Sochi), fans will be provided with free transportation in commuter trains, including modern Lastochka. Competition routes are organized by the authorities of the host cities.
The fans will be able to take advantage of free travel with their match tickets and Fan IDs. To be able to enjoy the right of free travel immediately after arrival in a city for a match, it is important to obtain all necessary documents in advance. Such opportunity already exists: Fan ID is sent by mail. Therefore, if a person has already received a ticket purchase confirmation, I recommend to immediately have a Fan ID issued and order its delivery by mail.
Vehicles running along the competition routes in the host cities will have a special sticker with the free ride emblem, so that fans could easily orientate on the spot.
– Is there any navigation application for the fans?
– We are developing a fan's transport guide, which will be available to users at the end of March. In the host cities, this program will also work as a mobile application for iOS and Android. It will include all free routes within the cities and between them. The user will be able to independently plot a route. The fan's guide will also include a list of free trains, maps of cities with points of fans concentration: fan zones, stadiums, stations, airports. This project is our unique development, which could become a legacy of the World Cup.