Their reliability and frequency is heavily dependant on the city traffic as they do not have dedicated lanes, this is in addition to the occasional delay caused by their electrical power rods jumping from the cable.
Every trolley bus is equipped with an 'odd' looking conductor identifiable by their red arm band - they generally fight their way through the cabin selling tickets and badgering those people that haven't yet bought one. A sign stuck to the window reserves them a seat - cover your ears if you happen to sit on it by mistake.
However, sometimes the conductor makes very little effort coming around as the apparent trolleybus policy is for you to find them. At least this is the story that the ticket inspector relays if you're caught without the 21 rouble ticket. These people are a breed apart and basically hop between trolleybuses looking for fare dodgers or passengers who have simply failed to come in contact with the conductor. Needless to say, that a 100 rouble fine and some verbal grief is the norm if one is found.
Each trolleybus is clearly numbered and has a basic routing list (in Russian) on its side near the doors. Popular routes at rush hour are predictably crammed full of sweaty bodies, it's a fine bouquet!Caution:
Pickpockets are rife on city center routesTip:
Carry small coins or small notes (bills) for payment, as 500 roubles is certainly unmanageable by the conductor, and they will simply insist you get off at the next stop for failing to pay!