Bus styles. Public transport in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk reflects its development in time and space – Soviet Sakhalin

Buses have been registered on the streets of the capital of the region since the post-war period. In old photos, they are often found in the background. By them, you can determine in what period the photo was taken. After all, passenger vehicle models change in sync with the times, like clothing or shoe styles.

In the photo: 1950. Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. Lenin Street. At the post office stop.
Photo by user humus.

And the official start date for regular passenger traffic is March 20, 1946. A little earlier, on March 5 of the same year, an order appeared from the Automobile Administration of the South-Sakhalin region – to introduce a bus schedule from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on the street. Lenin (Oo-dori) – 2 units and Composite (Jinja-dori) – 1 unit. The movement of motor vehicles is stopped during the period of mud and during winter blizzards.

This and much other interesting information is contained in the book “History of the development of transport” by Yevgeny Ermilov, who for many years worked in the town hall of the regional center. From it, for example, you can find out that after the liberation of South Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands, by order of the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk regional civil affairs department, the city received 10 out of 92 captured trophy cars. They began to organize regular internal transport.

In 1947, there were five buses and one taxi in the city. The level of comfort in them was very modest by today’s standards, but people were happy with it.

Public transport received a new impetus in the first post-war decade – the city developed and it was necessary to run routes to the sites of the new buildings.

In May 1952, new ZIS-155 and GAZ-651 buses appeared on the streets of the regional capital. They can be called symbols of that era – the country rebuilt the economy destroyed by the war, people recovered from shocks and lived with hope for the best, especially after the end of the era of Stalinist repressions.

Routes were laid from the city center to the park, from the center to South Street (now Pobedi Avenue), from the railway station to Vladimirovka and Yuzhno-Sakhalin State Farm. The Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk – Khomutovo route was extended to the village of Listvennychnoe.

The material base is strengthened every year.

In 1970, the first batch of new LAZ-695 buses arrived, and the volume of passenger traffic increased by more than 30% compared to 1960.

A new era has dawned.

In 1977, for the first time, more comfortable LiAZ-677 buses were installed on city routes from the railway station to the airport, the Sakhalin sanatorium and Novoaleksandrovsk. According to Soviet Sakhalin, the length of intercity lines at that time was more than 160 km. The plans include opening new ones and increasing the average speed of passenger vehicles from 16.9 to 18.2 km/h.

In the 1980s, in order to prevent violations and accidents with passengers, it was decided to install blue flashing beacons on the roofs of the buses, and foremen also had walkie-talkies to communicate with the police and the PATP-2 control room. When something happened in the cab, the police or doctors were immediately called to the bus.

In April – May 1984, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk PATP-2 received the first five Hungarian buses of extremely large capacity “Ikarus-280”. They got the name “accordion” because of the rubber corrugations in the middle.

By the end of the Soviet era, in 1990, PATP-2 had more than 160 buses of various sizes.

Not everything went smoothly, of course. It was not uncommon for cars to pass passengers at stops on their way to the garage. In 1988, drivers were charged with the responsibility to “carry out passengers in the same direction when moving to the garage or when going from the garage to the starting point” – this was stated in the response of the management of the bus fleet to the publication of “Soviet Sakhalin ” in the April 14, 1988 issue.

Well, in general, the 90s became a difficult period in the history of the city’s bus economy, and not only that. Private van carriers entered the market. That was a plus. But the downside was that the level of service dropped.

There was no relief for private vans, the bus fleet did not receive compensation for the passengers it relied on. Income was decreasing, there was not enough money for spare parts, repairs, salaries. They stopped the supply of “Ikarusi” and spare parts for them. They got away with it as they could – there was a period when buses with a tank engine manufactured on the mainland by conversion ran on the routes.

In 1997, PATP-2 introduced a satellite tracking system for public transport to manage its operations online. But the company went bankrupt.

The revival of public transport began in the new millennium.

Practice shows that the problem of transporting passengers cannot be solved only with minibuses. They were replaced by high-capacity vehicles.

A reform of public transport has been announced, within which a new payment system is introduced between city authorities and transport workers for the transport of passengers.

There are new buses running on gas motor fuel in the city, and the first batches of electric passenger transport will arrive very soon.

All this will also become a symbol of the changed era.


By the way

In the summer of 1956, routes were opened from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk to Kholmsk and Korsakov. In the 60s, LiAZ-158 buses hit the streets of the regional capital, every year their regiment arrived.

Just numbers

In 1946, the volume of traffic through the motor transport service of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk amounted to 18 thousand passengers, in 1947 – 318,471 passengers.

In 2021, the regional capital’s public transport carried around 29 million people.


On October 1, 1955, the passenger fleet of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk was formed, on March 22, 1965, it was renamed a bus depot. After 2 years it became known as PATP-2.

On November 3, 1993, PATP-2 acquired the status of a municipal enterprise, on August 7, 2004, it was liquidated.

Now the transportation of passengers on intra-city routes is carried out by AD “Transport Company”.

To take into account

In the regional center, there are already more than 40 intercity lines of public transport, and within the framework of the reform, their number will be reduced to 38.

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