Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

First Person

MTBykova supplements her pension with a metro job.
Inaida Bykova, 63, metro escalator monitor:

I have been working in the metro since 2001. I spent my life working on the railroad in Latvia, where I was raised. There I was in charge of loading and unloading freight trains. The work was really hard labor, so nothing about this job is very challenging.

"I don't love this job, but pensions in Russia are small, so I need the money. Because I was used to working on the railroad with trains blinking back and forth in front of my eyes, I don't tire watching the escalator.

"My duties include watching the traffic on the escalators and making sure that nothing goes wrong. If someone falls or gets caught in the escalator, it's my job to turn it off. It often happens that people fall or a child's clothes get caught. On average, I end up turning off the escalator at least twice every day.

"Often tourists come and ask me for directions. Just yesterday, two big groups of tourists came through here and I had to help them find their way. I know the city pretty well, but even if I don't know exactly where they're going, I always try to help. I'll look at the metro map and try to advise them on how to get where they're going.

"I like spending time with the women who work here. We often socialize at work and also visit each other at home and have parties. It's a nice community here."