Fans that would be in Russia for the 2018 World Cup would be getting free train ride between the host cities, according to reports.
A Fan ID and a football match ticket would be required to book train tickets online. The Fan ID is an innovation to help manage the influx of football fans and get a visa-free entry into the 2018 World Cup host country.
The prelude to the World Cup, the Confederations Cup which held few weeks back was considered a success. Many applauded the free transportation and lack of fans’ clashes. Sixteen games were played between June 17 and July 2 and over 60,000 train tickets were issued.
The head of the Transportation Directorate TerentyMescheryakov said they thought of how to kill two birds with one stone in accommodating the thousands of incoming fans and the issue of seamless transportation, especially between the host cities.
The trains worked at night and arrived at the cities in the morning, allowing the tired fans to sleep ahead of games the next day. This ensured they were accommodated comfortably as there was little need to search for places to sleep in an already-packed city.
“Actually, this service was one of the advantages of our World Cup bid, as no other had anything like it. Plus, it’s something that no other World Cup or European Championship host ever did for the fans. Yes, there was free transportation for journalists during some of the tournaments, but we are gladly providing this service for all the fans,” Mescheryakov added.
The Russian Railways would lose profits they could have made so the Russian government would compensate them for the service provided. After the draw for the 2018 World Cup is announced, the free tickets would then be available online. The event is to hold from June 14 to July 15.