Sunday, January 24, 2021

The Demise of the Tashkent Metro Token

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Metal metro token in use 1992 - 1993
The Tashkent metro is a splendid underground art gallery. You can happily spend a day hopping on and off the stations to admire the mosaics, ceramics and light fittings.

A token was 1400 soums - about 15 cents. Provided you didn't exit you could travel the entire system on just one token. (However, not exiting means that you may miss some of the decorated entrances which are sometimes as striking as the platform art).

Since opening in 1977, travel tickets on the metro have ranged from paper tickets, metal tokens and finally plastic tokens. 

Effective 1 November 2020, a single transport payment card has been introduced for travel on the metro and buses. The tokens are no longer accepted.

The cost of a card with contactless NFC technology is 11,000 soums, about $1 and includes the cost of one trip.

Of course I understand why this system has been introduced. Yet I am sentimental. I was charmed buying the tokens at the Kassa from the always cheery sellers and inserting the token into a rather antiquated, clunky turnstile.

Talented designer and Uzbek Journeys client, Dana Davies, once bought a stockpile of the blue plastic tokens, added green and white beads and voila - wonderful drop earrings in the colours of the Uzbek flag. What a fabulous souvenir. I frequently wore mine when I travelled on the Tashkent metro. When other passengers noticed them they were always so surprised and pleased.

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Samples of Dana Davies' Tashkent Metro earring designs
Dana has a few pairs of earrings available. Please contact her on caravanthology[a] if you would like a special piece of Tashkent history. I treasure my pair.

Related posts:
tashkent metro new turnstiles, tashkent metro ticket system
The new metro turnstiles for the new transport cards