Now that was fast!

Purchasing train tickets in Ukraine has not always been this easy…

I remember arriving in Ukraine, oh, that’s right, 20 years ago this month.  My first train ride was a couple of months later.  We used to purchase our tickets in the old Intourist office because only foreigners bought tickets there and the line was usually not long.

The first time I had to buy tickets in Kyiv for a return trip to Lugansk was a nightmare.  The hall was packed with people and every window has 20-30 people standing in it, but you never really knew how many people were in front of you.   Some were holding spots for people who had gone outside for a smoke or others would simply cut in line.  Finally, I found the Intourist office in Kyiv and bought tickets there.

Flash forward 20 years to today.  I purchased tickets online for a trip later this week, however, I had to go exchange the receipt for an actually ticket.  So, this morning I decided I better go do that.  Fortunately for me, colleagues bought this apartment back in 1995 and it is right across the street from my apartment.  Another benefit:  they remodeled their office last year and now, when you go in, there is a kiosk where you get a number and then when your number is called, the screen will tell you what window to go to.

The office was not too busy when I arrived, and there is only one window that deals with internet sales and so my wait was short.  I was in and out of there in less than 5 minutes.  That is quite an accomplishment when the wait was hours back in the 90’s.

The only thing that could make this better now is that they will set it up for me to print my ticket at home for all trains and not just the intercity high speed trains.  Progress is sweet!  Forward Ukraine!