. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

New Metro Monthly Passes Introduced

The technological revolution that threatened Metro zhetony with extinction in July is now taking aim at pass-checking babushki.

Four months after introducing short-term magnetic cards, the Moscow metro will start accepting magnetic monthly passes Friday.

Each new magnetic monthly pass will cost 90,000 rubles, like the old-style monthly metro passes, and will be encoded so that it can be used only once every 16 1/2 minutes at any one station.

This, said a metro spokeswoman, will help avoid the potential problem of a passholder going through the turnstile, then handing the card to a friend behind him to use again. If someone tries to sneak through this way, the turnstyle gates will close on him, and the pass will be revoked.

The new cards will be made of plastic. The paper magnetic cards introduced in July have proved to tear easily, sometimes damage the turnstiles, and, in general, "cause headaches," according to a metro official.

Nonetheless, the 15,000-ruble paper cards, good for 10 rides, will continue to be issued, as will the old monthly metro passes. The yediny bilet, good for all forms of transport and costing 180,000 rubles, will be available only in its usual paper, non-magnetic guise.

The new system will ease the burden on the women who check the old-style passes. The metro official said the women are currently overwhelmed by the mass of people they must check.

The metro official speculated that, in the long run, the introduction of magnetic cards may be a step on the road to eliminating the position of pass-checker altogether.

"[The cards will] take away your job," she said to a nearby co-worker.

"If they do, I'll cry," said the co-worker. Then she paused, perhaps reasoning that Russians' affection for the metro's old ways would put that day a long, long way off. "No," she added. "I think I'll die first."