Public transport came into existence in the first half of the 19th century. Except for private cabmen services, our great-great-grand-parents used omnibuses (as translated from Latin - "for all"). The term was used to call multiseat horse-drawn carriages with open platform and seats on the carriage roof.
If you look at the emblem of the State Enterprise “Minsktrans”, you will see the date “1887” on it. And this is, of course, not a random choice: particularly that year fixed-route passenger transportation started in the town.
Time went on, and Minsk was growing from a relatively small town into a real capital: by 1890 the territory of the town increased by 14 times in comparison with the 60s of the 19th century, and the population numbered 91 thousand people. The city government decided to put omnibuses on rails for comfort and safety of the citizens. In 1892 a horse-drawn railway appeared in the city, simply called horse tram, which had successfully operated in Russia for three decades.
By the end of the century there had been two stations operating horse-drawn transport – Brest - Moscow-Brest railway (on the place of the present-day railroad station “Tovarnaya”) and Vilensky - Libavo-Romensky (on the present-day Station Square). By 1910 citizens of 24 towns had used the horse tram services. Minsk had operated the horse tram longer than other towns had, and stopped this service only in March of 1928, when buses were in full transport operation in the city.
In autumn 1924 bus transportation appeared in many towns of the country. The fleet included vehicles of foreign brands: Layland, Renault, MAN. On October 23, 1924 buses started to carry passengers first time in Minsk. On November 7th, the same event took place in Gomel, on line – Gomel - Novobelitsa.
On May 22, 1925 first intercity passenger and postal bus routed Minsk – Cherven.
The first attempt to put a tram in operation in Minsk was made in 1898.
On October 13, 1929 the tram service was started in Minsk. From the very beginning trams transported 18-19 thousand passengers daily. The tram was extensively used also for freight transportation. After five years since the beginning of its service there had been seven tram lines, the total length of the railway reached 33 kilometers. By the end of 1934, the fleet totaled 56 cars. The city had 280 trips per citizen annually (by that time the population of Minsk had reached 189.000 people). A new type of passenger transport – taxi- appeared. It was organized by the tram service department. In 1937 48 trams were running along the city routes. In 1939, the total length of Minsk tram operational single-track railways accounted for 36.8 kilometers; the fleet consisted of 70 passenger carriages, 50 million passengers paid for transportation.
During World War II the tram service collapsed and was demolished. The tram depot was destroyed, only a few cars survived. The period from 1944 to mid-1947 was the most difficult for Minsk tram service. It was necessary not only to start the service all over again, to provide the depot with materials, spare parts, but also to train personnel, to create basic living conditions for people. Renovation of the tram transportation in Minsk was still actively backed up by specialists from Moscow and Leningrad.
Practically the entire bus fleet of Belgostrans was destroyed by German occupants. In 1946, the fleet included 17 trophy buses and four captured ZIS-154.
In February 1947, Minsk bus and taxi depot was opened. By then, the buses had numbered slightly over 40. The depot staff consisted of 37 drivers, 18 ticket-collectors, 11 repairmen and 10 engineering technicians.
Since 1948, the depot began to be supplied with new buses of GAS and ZIS brand. ZIS-154 was manufactured on Moscow Automotive Plant during the period of 1946-1949. It was the first domestic production city bus with metal wagon-type body.
In November 1949, the Council of Ministers of the BSSR adopted a decree on the construction of a trolleybus line in Minsk.
In August 1951 Minsk tram service department sent 26 workers to Leningrad TTD for them to gain professional skills of a trolleybus driver.
At the end of March 1952 Minsk tram service department was renamed and called Minsk Tram and Trolleybus Service Department. On September 19, 1952 the first trolleybus ran along the streets of Minsk - the first phase of the trolleybus line from the passenger station to the Round (Kruglaya) Square was put into operation. The total length of the routing ring counted over 6 kilometers. 5 trolleybuses made their route on the opening day.
In April 1956 the development of the tram and trolleybus service was funded in the amount of 6 million 100 thousand rubles. In 1956 the length of the tram routes totaled 48 kilometers, and of the trolleybus routes - 16 kilometers, the city had 122 tram cars, and 39 trolleybuses. The tram service surpassed the pre-war level in all criteria.
At the beginning of 1960s the development of the tram service practically stopped in Minsk, the priority was given to the trolleybus service. However, despite the weakening of the role of this means of transport, the tram service continued to be developed in Minsk. A new depot with 250 wagons capacity was built; the ways were reconstructed with "Phoenix"-type grooved rails, cast turnout switches were installed, which were heated with electricity. 12 tramcars of 1931-1932 production were excluded from the stock.
By the beginning of 1961 there were 6 trolleybus lines in Minsk. The trolleybus fleet consisted of 100 cars. Just before 1970 the trolleybus ways were further extended: the 15th route was commissioned - from the Tractor Factory to the Worsted Factory. This enabled to carry 4 million 344 thousand passengers in excess of the plan in1969 and to earn 50.3 thousand rubles profit in excess of the plan.
In 1970, 550-600 thousand passengers daily travelled by electric transport in Minsk. Over 400 cars of the rolling stock were running through the city. Direct phone communication of the central switchboard operator with the end stations was used to coordinate the traffic. All the emergency cars were equipped with radio equipment.
The Tram and Trolleybus Service Department had become a large enterprise by the early 1970s. 3400 people worked here, and women made about a half of the employed.
The bus has always been a pioneering means of transport as the most mobile kind, opening new routes in the city. 1956 appeared to be called a milestone, a new stage of Minsk bus service, which started to acquire modern features. The depot obtained ZIL-127, ZIL-158, PAZ-652, LAZ-695 buses. The enterprise accounted for over 450 vehicles.
The taxi depot became a separate department. The first bus depot – the enterprise acquired such naming – encompassed buses serving intercity, suburban and urban lines. The multi-rate fares in public transport was eliminated. Since January 1958 the bus fare and the trolleybus fare have become flat-rate.
In 1960 the garage of intercity busses was reorganized into the Second Buss Depot. All regional centers of Belarus were connected by the bus routes with the capital of the country, the buses started their routes in Minsk to leave for Moscow, Leningrad, Vilnius, Riga, Ukrainian cities.
In the mid-1960s representative offices of the Hungarian company "Mogyurt-Icarus" were opened in four largest cities of the country, including Minsk. Since Ikarus buses came into service in Minsk the transport situation in the city haвgreatlychanged. The main advantage of the Hungarian buses was a large capacity.
In 1976, a common single ticket was introduced for two means of transport - bus and trolleybus – priced at 4 kopecks. At the request of citizens and public transport organizations, the Council of Ministers of the BSSR introduced three additional varieties of monthly tickets: bus - trolley, bus - tram, trolleybus - tram.
The age of metro counts over hundred years. The first line was laid in London in1863. Since then, all underground city lines became to be known as metropolitan (as translated from French - capital).
The first metro in the USSR was built in Moscow. It was put into operation on May 15, 1935. In Leningrad - the second city with a metro - in 1955. The Minsk metro became the ninth in succession.
In 1977 the building works started next to the Chelyuskintsev Park, first stone was laid on the site of the future station.
Nearly 250 companies in the country took part in the Minsk metro construction works. A special design institute - "Minskmetroproekt" – was responsible for design engineering. According to the architects’ concept, each station design had to preserve the Belarusian colouring and convey its own meaning, reflect certain events of the life of the Republic.
It took seven years to build the first line - 8.6 kilometers, 9 stations. The metro coaches were supplied from Moscow and Leningrad.
On December31, 1991 the first electric train with passengers ran along the second line from Frunzenskaya Station to Pushkinskaya Station with the length of 2.92 kilometers, in 1997 - the section from the Tractor Plant Station to Avtozavodskaya Station with the length of 3.55 kilometers. The Minsk metro entered the new century with a new section from Avtozavodskaya Station to Mogilevskaya Station. It made about two kilometers.
The time-interval between electric trains in rush-hours on the first and on the second lines makes 2.5 minutes. The number of train formations and coaches (12 formations with 4 coaches on the first line and 7 formations with 4 coaches on the second line) was calculated in such a way in order to avoid overcrowding. On average, the metropolitan carries 700 thousand passengers per day.
On November 26, 2003, according to the resolution of Minsk City Executive Committee, the Transport Public Unitary Enterprise “Minsktrans” was established through merging of thee unitary enterprises Minsk City Electric Transport (“Minskgorelectrotrans”), Minsk Road Passenger Transport (“Minskpassazhiravtotrans”), Transportation and Communication Department of Minsk City Executive Committee and the Minsk Metro.
On March 19, 2009, the enterprise was renamed into the State Transport Unitary Enterprise “Minsktrans” (State enterprise “Minsktrans”).