History

Publictransportcame into existencein the firsthalf of the 19thcentury.Except for private cabmen services, our great-great-grand-parents used omnibuses(as translated from Latin-“for all”).The term was used to call multiseathorse-drawn carriageswith open platform and seats on the carriage roof.

If you look at the emblem of the State Enterprise “Minsktrans”, you will see the date “1887” on it. And this is, of course, not a random choice: particularly that year fixed-route passenger transportation started in the town.

Time went on, and Minsk was growing from a relatively small town into a real capital: by 1890 the territory of the town increased by 14 times in comparison with the 60s of the 19th century, and the population numbered 91 thousand people. The city government decided to put omnibuses on rails for comfort and safety of the citizens. In 1892 a horse-drawn railway appeared in the city, simply called horse tram, which had successfully operated in Russia for three decades.

By the end of the century there had been two stations operating horse-drawn transport – Brest – Moscow-Brest railway (on theplace of the present-dayrailroad station “Tovarnaya”)andVilensky-Libavo-Romensky(on the present-dayStation Square).By 1910 citizens of 24 towns had used the horse tram services. Minsk had operated the horse tram longer than other towns had, and stopped this service only in March of 1928, when buses were in full transport operation in the city.

In autumn1924 bus transportation appeared in many towns of the country. The fleet included vehicles of foreign brands: Layland, Renault, MAN. On October 23, 1924 buses started to carry passengers first time in Minsk. On November 7th, the same event took place in Gomel, online–Gomel – Novobelitsa.

On May 22, 1925first intercity passenger and postal bus routed Minsk–Cherven.

The first attemptto puta tram in operationin Minskwas made in1898.

On October 13, 1929 thetram service was started in Minsk.From the very beginning trams transported18-19thousand passengers daily.The tramwas extensively used alsofor freight transportation.After fiveyears since the beginning of its service there had been seventram lines, the totallength of the railwayreached 33kilometers.By theend of 1934, the fleettotaled56cars.The cityhad280trips per citizen annually (by that timethe population of Minskhad reached189.000people).A new type ofpassenger transport–taxi- appeared.It was organized bythe tram service department.In 1937 48 trams were running along the city routes. In 1939, thetotal lengthof Minsk tram operationalsingle-track railways accounted for36.8kilometers; the fleetconsisted of70passenger carriages,50 millionpassengers paid for transportation.

During WorldWar IIthe tramservice collapsed and wasdemolished.The tram depotwas destroyed,onlya fewcars survived.The periodfrom 1944to mid-1947wasthe most difficultforMinsktram service.It was necessarynot onlyto start the service all over again, to provide the depotwith materials, spareparts, but alsoto train personnel,tocreatebasicliving conditions for people.Renovation of the tram transportation in Minsk was still actively backed up by specialists from Moscow and Leningrad.

Practically the entirebus fleetof Belgostranswas destroyedby Germanoccupants.In 1946, thefleet included 17 trophy buses andfourcapturedZIS-154.

InFebruary 1947,Minskbus andtaxi depot was opened.By then, the buses had numbered slightly over 40. The depot staff consisted of 37drivers,18ticket-collectors, 11repairmen and 10engineering technicians.

Since 1948, thedepotbeganto be supplied with newbusesof GAS andZIS brand.ZIS-154was manufacturedon Moscow Automotive Plantduring theperiod of 1946-1949.It wasthe first domestic production city bus with metal wagon-type body.

In November 1949,the Councilof Ministers ofthe BSSRadopted a decree on the constructionof atrolleybus line in Minsk.

In Europe (namely, in Germany) the first trolleybuswas put in operation yet in 1882along the route Berlin-Spandau-a year after the tram transportation was opened.It was not a perfect carriage: open phaeton, equipped withan electric motorwithrear-wheel chain drive.The motor power was supplied from the contact systemby means of a cable,which connected the current-collecting trolley, rolling along the wires, with the electrical equipment.This is where the term derives from: the English word “trolley” meant thetrolleyand thebare wirethrough which thecurrent passes. The firsttrolley busesin the USSR were manufacturedin on Moscow factories.The trolleybus servicein the USSRwas openedjust beforethe sixteenthanniversary of theOctober Revolutionin 1933,in Moscow.

InAugust 1951 Minsk tram service department sent 26 workers toLeningradTTDfor them to gain professional skills of a trolleybus driver.

At the end ofMarch 1952Minsktram service department was renamed and called Minsk Tram and Trolleybus Service Department. OnSeptember 19, 1952the first trolleybus ran along the streets of Minsk – the first phase of the trolleybuslinefrom the passengerstation to theRound (Kruglaya) Squarewas put into operation.The total lengthof therouting ring counted over 6 kilometers.5 trolleybuses made their route on the opening day.

In April 1956 the development of the tram and trolleybus service was funded in the amount of 6 million 100 thousand rubles. In 1956 thelength of thetram routestotaled 48 kilometers, and of thetrolleybus routes-16kilometers, the city had122tram cars, and 39trolleybuses. The tramservice surpassedthe pre-war level in all criteria.

At the beginning of1960sthe developmentof the tram service practically stoppedin Minsk, the priority was given to thetrolleybusservice.However, despite theweakening of the roleof thismeans of transport,the tramservicecontinued to be developedin Minsk.A newdepotwith 250wagons capacity was built; the ways were reconstructed with”Phoenix”-type grooved rails, castturnout switches were installed, which were heated with electricity. 12tramcarsof 1931-1932production were excluded from the stock.

By the beginning of1961there were6trolleybus lines in Minsk.The trolleybus fleetconsistedof100 cars.Just before 1970the trolleybus ways were further extended: the 15throute was commissioned – fromthe TractorFactory to theWorsted Factory. This enabled to carry4 million 344 thousand passengers in excess of the plan in1969 and to earn 50.3 thousand rubles profit in excess of the plan.

In 1970, 550-600thousand passengers daily travelled by electric transport in Minsk. Over 400 cars of the rolling stock were running through the city.Direct phone communication of the central switchboard operator with the end stations was used to coordinate the traffic. All the emergencycars were equipped withradio equipment.

The Tram andTrolleybus Service Department had become a large enterprise by theearly 1970s. 3400 people worked here, and women made about a half of the employed.

The bushas always been a pioneering means of transport as the mostmobilekind, opening new routes in the city.1956appeared to be called a milestone, a new stage of Minskbus service, which started to acquire modern features.The depot obtained ZIL-127, ZIL-158, PAZ-652,LAZ-695 buses. The enterprise accounted for over 450vehicles.

The taxi depot became a separate department. The first bus depot – the enterprise acquired such naming – encompassed buses serving intercity, suburban and urban lines. The multi-ratefares inpublic transport was eliminated.SinceJanuary 1958the bus fare andthe trolleybus fare have become flat-rate.

In 1960 the garage of intercity busses was reorganized into the Second Buss Depot.All regional centers ofBelaruswereconnected by the bus routes with the capital of the country, the buses started their routes in Minsk to leave for Moscow, Leningrad,Vilnius, Riga, Ukrainian cities.

In the mid-1960srepresentative offices of the Hungariancompany “Mogyurt-Icarus” were openedin four largestcities of the country,includingMinsk. Since Ikarus buses came into service in Minsk the transport situationin the cityhaвgreatlychanged.The main advantageof the Hungarianbuses was alargecapacity.

In1976,a common single ticket was introduced fortwo means of transport-bus andtrolleybus– priced at 4 kopecks.At the request ofcitizens and publictransport organizations,the Councilof Ministers ofthe BSSRintroduced three additionalvarietiesof monthlytickets: bus-trolley,bus -tram,trolleybus-tram.

In1974, the Councilof Ministers ofthe USSR adopteda decree onthe construction of theMinskmetro.

The ageof metro counts over hundred years.The first linewas laidin London in1863.Since then,all underground city lines became to be known as metropolitan(as translated from French- capital).

The firstmetroin theUSSR was built inMoscow.It was put into operation onMay 15, 1935.In Leningrad- the second citywith ametro -in 1955.The Minskmetro becamethe ninth in succession.

In 1977 the building works started next to the Chelyuskintsev Park, first stone was laidon the site ofthe future station.

Nearly250companies in the countrytook part in the Minskmetro construction works.Aspecial design institute -“Minskmetroproekt” – was responsible for design engineering.According tothe architects’ concept, each station design had to preserve the Belarusian colouring and convey its own meaning,reflectcertain eventsof the life ofthe Republic.

It took seven years to build the first line- 8.6kilometers,9 stations.The metro coaches were supplied fromMoscow and Leningrad.

In July 1984, thefirst metropolitantrain ranfrom Lenin Square to Moskovskaya station – from the starting point to the end point of the commissioned section of the construction site. In two and ahalf years a new section was put into operation:1.6 kilometersof railsconnected Moskovskaya Station with Vostok Station.

On December31, 1991the firstelectric trainwith passengersran alongthe second line fromFrunzenskaya Station to Pushkinskaya Station with the length of2.92kilometers,in1997- the sectionfrom the Tractor Plant Station to Avtozavodskaya Station with thelength of3.55kilometers.The Minskmetro entered the new century with a new sectionfrom Avtozavodskaya Station to Mogilevskaya Station. It made about two kilometers.

The time-interval between electric trains in rush-hours on the first and on the second lines makes 2.5 minutes. The number of train formations and coaches (12 formations with 4 coaches on the first line and 7 formations with 4 coaches on the second line) was calculated in such a way in order to avoid overcrowding. On average, the metropolitan carries 700 thousand passengers per day.

On November 26, 2003, according to the resolution of Minsk City Executive Committee, the Transport Public Unitary Enterprise “Minsktrans” was established through merging of thee unitary enterprises Minsk City Electric Transport (“Minskgorelectrotrans”), Minsk Road Passenger Transport (“Minskpassazhiravtotrans”), Transportation and Communication Department of Minsk City Executive Committee and the Minsk Metro.

On March 19, 2009, the enterprise was renamed into the State Transport Unitary Enterprise “Minsktrans” (State enterprise “Minsktrans”).