On 1 October, central Moscow will gain a faster bus option with the opening of a new designated transit lane that will run from Lubyanka Square to Teatralny Proyezd, on Okhotny Ryad and Mokhovaya streets, and Borovitskaya Square. It will run against the traffic on the far left of an otherwise one-way street. With the new lane, a revised set of bus routes will allow for faster bus travel in the centre this autumn.
The new lane will allow two-way traffic for buses on what is now being called the Kremlin Ring. It will connect the main bus routes on Pokrovka, Kitai Gorod and Lubyanka with the routes around Tverskaya, Novy Arbat and Kropotkinskaya streets. Buses will travel with the general traffic flow on Mokhovaya, Okhotny Ryad and Teatralny Proyezd towards Lubyanka.
“The new designated transit lane on the Kremlin Ring will cut passenger travel time by up to 45 minutes,” said Head of the Moscow Government’s Traffic Organisation Centre Vadim Yuryev. “Previously, the one-way streets around the Kremlin forced the buses to take routes that were inconvenient and hard to understand. Now, we can eliminate these inconvenient turns and detours in the routes and have them cross the most in-demand parts of the centre via conveniently direct and understandable routes.”
Mr Yuryev said that this would increase bus capacity by 30 percent in central Moscow and would reduce the burden on the streets and the metro.
The new restricted lane will run from Borovitskaya Square, cross the Bolshoi and Maly Kamenny bridges (Ulitsa Serafimovicha), and then follow Bolshaya Yakimanka to Leninsky Prospekt. This will form an uninterrupted bus corridor from the Troitsky and Novomoskovsky administrative areas to the city centre.
Public transport is very popular in Moscow today. Around 66 percent of Muscovites use public transport, and during peak hours, the figure is even higher – 71 percent. The launch of the new designated public transit lanes will give buses and trolleybuses real advantages on main city routes.
“Designated transit lanes have become a genuinely effective tool for optimising transit traffic on Moscow’s main routes,” said Mosgortrans General Director Yevgeny Mikhailov. “Buses and trolleybuses run up to 30 percent faster than the general traffic in these lanes. Surface transport is thus more attractive and it’s easier for passengers to plan their travel time,” he said.
Work is still underway at the moment on road markings, traffic signals and signs along the new routes.