The new Magistral bus route system has carried 60 million passengers since its inception. The number of city residents using buses, trolleybuses and trams in central Moscow has soared by 30 percent over the past six months, with all Magistral routes carrying up to 500,000 people every weekday.
“Today, surface transit carries 500,000 city residents and tourists in central Moscow daily, or 30 percent more before the Magistral route system was launched. The streamlined route system, designated transit lanes and more effective traffic management provided city residents with new opportunities for quick and convenient trips; and surface transit became an attractive alternative to cars in central Moscow,” said Deputy Moscow Mayor Maxim Liksutov, Head of the Department for Transport and Road Infrastructure Development.
The No. 904 bus express is among the most popular routes, carrying 24,000 people per day from Mitino to central Moscow. The route runs past Volokolamskoye Motorway, Leningradsky Prospekt and Tverskaya Street. Buses only stop at key destinations, using designated transit lanes and reducing traveling time to just 45 minutes. It carries 2-3 percent more riders daily.
The Magistral system allows passengers on the metro’s Tagansko-Krasnopresnenskaya and Kaluzhsko-Rizhskaya lines to reach Arbat and Kutuzovsky Prospekt more quickly using bus No.M2. These buses depart from Kitai-Gorod metro station every five-ten minutes, and its passengers no longer have to change at two metro stations.
Launched on 8 October 2016, the Magistral programme included 17 long-range, 15 district or local, and seven specialised or social routes. Over 500 buses, trolleybuses and trams hit the streets, reducing service intervals from 16 to eight minutes in central Moscow.
Planners considered such factors as population and workplace density, as well as passenger flows at metro stations and on other routes. Surface transit traffic was reinstated for the first time on sections of the Bolshaya Nikitskaya and Sadovnicheskaya Streets since the 1990s. Buses and trolleybuses started using two new designated transit lanes on the Kremlin Ring, via two streets crossing the Garden Ring, on the Taganskaya and Malaya Dmitrovka streets. One more designated transit lane is to open 1 April on Vozdvizhenka Street between Arbatskiye Vorota Square and Mokhovaya Street.
Experts are currently working on a new Magistral expansion strategy and studying various options for new designated transit lanes.