The first shelf for swapping books has been installed at Pushkinskaya metro station.

The Moscow Metro has launched a bookcrossing project to swap books for free. Muscovites will take or leave books on a special shelf attached to a Live Help desk at the entrance hall shared by Pushkinskaya and Tverskaya metro stations.

The bookcrossing project aims to encourage people to read more paper books while taking a ride on the metro, says First Deputy Head of the Department for Transport and Road Infrastructure Development Gamid Bulatov.

This is a pilot project. We want to see if people get interested in bookcrossing,” Bulatov said. “If the experiment proves a success, bookshelves will also appear at other Live Help desks.”

Passengers are expected to pick up books from the first bookcrossing shelf, read them and pass them on. Staffers at the desk will see to it that people are really exchanging books.

The first batch of books was donated by Moscow Metro staffers.

Live Help desks have been installed at 13 metro stations, including:

Arbatskaya on the Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya Line;

Barrikadnaya;

Kitai-Gorod on the Kaluzhsko-Rizhskaya Line;

Komsomolskaya on the Circle Line;

Ploshchad Revolyutsii;

Aleksandrovsky Sad;

Belorusskaya on the Circle Line;

Kievskaya on the Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya Line;

Kurskaya on the Circle Line;

Paveletskaya on the Zamoskvoretskaya Line;

Park Kultury on the Circle Line;

Pushkinskaya;

Sretensky Bulvar.

Another five desks have been installed at the following Moscow Central Ring stations:

Delovoy Tsentr;

Shelepikha;

Ploshchad Gagarina;

Luzhniki;

Kutuzovskaya.

Specially trained English-speaking staffers at Live Help desks will help riders choose a route, explain how to change to other metro lines, commuters trains or buses, and provide information about fares and tourist attractions that passengers may pass by.

Spheres: Transport