Sea Façade, St. Petersburg’s passenger port, where most of cruise ships call, said only two taxi companies are allowed to operate within its territory. For passengers it means reduced ability to get out of the port and possibly higher prices for transportation from cruise terminals to sightseeings.
St. Petersburg’s Sea Façade is located in the city’s historical center, but rather far from main must-sees and must-visits like the Hermitage museum, the Peterhof museum complex and the Catherine palace with its Amber room in a town of Pushkin (Tsarskoe selo) and the most touristy lane, the Nevsky avenue. Cruise passengers walking out into the city on their own, not on organized tours, need a pick up.
There are two options here:
• take a public bus 158 to Primorskaya subway station and go further by subway or any other means of transportation;
• book a taxi.
Just until a few days ago, any tourist eligible to get through border control and come into the city could have a taxi picking him up at a pier and getting to wherever he liked. Things have changed as the port has prohibited unauthorized taxi companies to come into the port’s territory forcing their drivers to wait for their clients at the port’s gate. It means that passengers need somehow make their ways from the Sea Façade’s pier to the gate.
There are two taxi companies accredited by the port to take you from the pier: Lion and Presto Car (rather tiny players on the local taxi market).
The distance between the gate and the pier is about 1 km.
Here are three options how to get from the pier to the gate:
• bus line 158. Just get off upon leaving the port’s area.
• take Lion or Presto Car for free to the gate. The port’s representative said these two are obliged to get you beyond the port’s area for no money, and should the driver refuse to do it, than you must contact a port’s employee to handle the situation. What’s disturbing us here is the possibility of being refused and the need to contact someone else to get what you are eligible to get.
• walk on foot the distance of about 1 km.
You can also merely book Lion or Presto Car to take you to your destination and avoid all these inconveniences with arranging your way from the pier to the gate. But here a new kind of problem may emerge. As a city parliament’s member, Marina Shishkina, said, the two accredited taxi companies now set fares which are two-three times higher than the market average.
The port referred to the national transport security legislation when commenting the need for setting the limitations. The MP said the move is hardly connected to the necessity to implement security requirements and added she would have the Antimonopoly Service investigate the case.
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