Ridership on the Kyiv Metro has dropped in half compared to 2019, prompting the municipal company to ask the city to save the transportation lifeblood for city offices and factories.

 Waving signs reading “Fair fares = safe travel,” Metro workers protested yesterday in front of City Hall, demanding at least $50 million in aid. Inside, subway administrators told the City Council that, with discounts, the system only receives US23 cents for each ride – one third of the amount it needs to break even.

With electricity and wage costs doubling, the Metro is putting 3,000 workers on 4-day workweeks and threatening service cuts.

 In 2019, the system carried 495 million passengers. Last year, this number fell to 279 million. If this year’s level of ridership holds up, 2021 could end with 255 million rides.

Kyiv’s Metro subway system is decreasing the frequency of trains during the lockdown.

The city has issued 500,000 passes for use on public transport, including the subways. Subway ridership is now about 200,000 on a weekday. In March, prior to the lockdown, it was 1 million. Prior to the pandemic, in 2019, it was 1.5 million. Last year, the system lost $22 million due to lost fares.