Despite the fact that Monday morning city official reported the launch of public transport, many Kyiv residents could not get to the right place on right time. At 9 a.m., the press office of the Kyiv city state administration reported that 260 buses, 65 trolleybuses and 262 route taxis resumed their service. The figures seemed promising, but it was not to be...

Communal services did a good job cleaning yards and sidewalks, and people could reach bus stops easily. The problems started on the very bus stops. Firstly, public transport was running at 20-minute intervals, and secondly, more than 20 bus services did not take their routes at all. According to the city administration, those bus services could not resume running, because the streets of their routes had not been cleaned yet.

According to the comments of the very residents, the situation was common for all districts of the Kyiv city.

Tricks and maneuvers

The first conclusion Kyiv residents made was that they should have left the house earlier than usual. March 25 was announced a day-off, but the streets were crowded with people nevertheless. And many of Kyiv residents had to use tricks and maneuvers to reach the destination point.

Due to the short number of buses on routes, the transport was overcrowded and people had no choice but to storm the vehicles, literally. Some passengers, living not far from the terminal, preferred to take the bus in opposite direction in order to be able to take a seat after the bus makes the turn. Other passengers preferred not to risk and took express tram instead of usual route taxis. And the absolute preference was given to the subway.

Far residential districts like Borshchagovka, for example, were cut off from mainland, because some minor roads remained blocked. Residents of the quarter said they were ready to go and clean roads by themselves.

Obolon residents complained about crowded bus stops - buses ran regularly, but the lines of passengers were very long.

Fast movements in the center of the city were also impossible. Average speed of vehicles made 10-15 km per hour and according to Yandex portal data, as of 9 a.m. the congestion on roads was estimated at 7 out of 10 points.

Meanwhile, communal services and police officers continued cleaning the streets and roads. But as soon as we turned from Khreshchyatyk to Lva Tolstogo, the picture changed: snow-cleaning machines were not working, buses could not arrive close to the stops and passengers had to jump over 3-4 meter-long snowdrifts to get on a bus.

Khreshchyatyk and Maydan were pretty crowded but mainly with schools students, who enjoy winter holidays these days. Bus stops, on the contrary, were empty, probably because people preferred subway to ground transport.

In Dniprovski district, the situation was different. Bus stops were overcrowded, but transport did not run frequently, and people had to wait for 20-30 minutes. According to the fare inspector of one of the buses, workers of the bus fleet were doing everything possible to restore traffic, while passengers were not helping. "There was a woman with six empty large bottles going to take water from the well room. On rush hour? Seriously? Could not she wait at least when it was not so crowded in the bus?" the fare inspector sounded off.

Driver of a trolleybus Vitaly told ForUm that drives also were not having good time during snowfalls. It turned out that when people were staying home due to bad weather, he was stuck in his trolley for the whole night. "The trolleybus got stuck in the snow on the road, and thanks God it was warm inside. Some car drivers tried to push the vehicle, but failed of course. Good thing that people were in good mood, talking and laughing. Anyway, I had to wait for an emergency response team to move the trolleybus, but when the team arrived, the engine of the rescue vehicle collapsed. Well, together we fixed the engine, but it turned out the fuel tank was empty. Again we had to wait for another response team to bring the fuel. It was not funny, but we laughed anyway. What else could we do? Moreover, we had a nice show to watch - people skiing or skateboarding on Andrew's Descent," Vitaly recalled.

Traffic from suburbs to the city was also complicated. "Though the main roads of Boyarka had been cleaned, the town streets remained blocked and not a single snow-cleaning machine came for rescue. Bus stops and train platforms were overcrowded. People were fighting to get on board," local residents complained.

Residents of Vyshcheve town also had hard times to get to Kyiv. Buses ran rarely and were overcrowded. Moreover, certain route taxis increased fare up to 5 hrvynias, but no official information on price rise was announced.

The reverse side of the medal

Despite all compilations and difficulties, many people were enjoying the additional day-off. Some residents went skiing and skateboarding to Protasov Yar, others were meeting in cafes and shopping. Many Kyiv residents decided to use an opportunity and visit some cultural events, exhibitions and even the church. 

A woman we met in the street told us she finally found time to visit the Writers' House. Another older woman told us she was just walking around, without any particular destination point. There were also others, who did not stop complaining on the local authorities. "I've been living in Kyiv for 40 years, but it is the first time I see such chaos. Communal services started to clean my yard only today. The authorities announced a day-off today, so why did not they order people to come out and help the poor street-cleaner, who cannot manage all this snow alone?" Kyiv resident Lidia told ForUm.

Another woman complained on market sellers, who suddenly increased prices for fruit and vegetables. Hopefully, when the supplies and deliveries are resumed in full, the prices will go back to normal.

Many families used an opportunity to go for a walk with children, but it did not go smoothly either. In Obolon district, for example, furious mothers were fighting with communal service workers because of snow-covered playgrounds.

Another problem that made residents even angrier was gigantic icicles. People had to walk on the traffic way, as many sidewalks were fenced with red tapes. Mass media writes that there were already two victims, hit by icicles. According to the chief doctor of the Kyiv emergency care hospital, there were also registered six cases of hyperthermia and three cases of cold burns. All victims were hospitalized.

"Field" reports

While people are thinking about what routes to take, state officials report latest news on taken measures.

Thus, press office of the Kyiv emergency control department, for three days the emergency response teams rescued 1863 cars, 737 trucks, 149 buses and trolley buses and 6869 people. Moreover, in every district of the capital there are off-highway vehicles, patrolling the streets and ready to rescue cars and people stuck in snowdrifts.

For the past three days, there have been 9233 tons of snow removed from the roads and taken out of the city. The total amount of new fallen snow is 40 million tons. To fight bad weather Kyiv has called 295 units of snow-cleaning equipment for the first shift and 247 units for the second and 87 (517 people) and 39 (244 people) emergency response teams respectively. For the past 24 hours, there have been used 943.9 tons of sanding materials to fight ice on the roads. 

Moreover, the Kyiv city state administration has called upon directors of enterprises, institutions and organizations of all forms of ownership to speed up cleaning of surrounding grounds. According to the administration head Oleksandr Popov, administrative sanctions will be applied against those who ignore the requirements of the Land Improvement and Landscaping Rules.

Tetyana Matsur, Tetyana Hryhoriyeva, Yulia Artamoshchenko, Anastasia Pika


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