History of transport
In 19-century Minsk, the only form of public transport were cabs. The job of a cabman was not the easiest one and often attracted quite dubious people. Hence it was strictly regulated by the Rules for Cabmen's Craft in Minsk and Instructions for the Policemen of Minsk Police:
- A cabman is strictly prohibited from being drunk.
- A cabman's carriage and harness must be in good order any time a cabman goes to the city.
- A cabman should treat a passenger politely and never allow himself to be rude.
- Passengers are prohibited from insulting a cabman. In case of rudeness, insult or neglect to pay, a cabman must turn to the Police.
- A cabman with a passenger must proceed at a trot; a cabman without a passenger must proceed at a walk. Any other type of ride is strictly prohibited. Hooting, shouting and quarrels are strictly prohibited.
- Policemen must ensure that cabmen make no jokes at those who pass or ride nearby.
However, this form of transport can hardly be described as truly public just like taxis that appeared on Minsk streets in the beginning of the 20th century were not public. Both cabs and taxis were too expensive. The first transport utilized by common people in 1892 in Minsk was a horsecar (also known as a horse-drawn tram). The horsecar had existed for over 30 years before it was replaced by the tram in 1929.
Public buses first appeared in Minsk in 1924, trolleybuses - in 1952, while the first minibuses - in 1974. Minsk Metro was opened in 1984. The latest form of public transport, high-speed light rail, has been in place since 2011.