Moscow has risen to fifth place on the Green Patrol environmental ranking of Russia’s regions, up from last year’s 14th position.
According to the ranking, the city environment has improved due to the transport solutions of the last few years – paid parking; purchasing eco-friendly buses, trolleybuses and trams; creating pedestrian spaces and cycling routes under the My Street programme; regulating truck traffic; and other initiatives.
“In 2017, we will continue buying modern and eco-friendly vehicles, improving the route network with priority given to public transit, and supporting the development of the system of car sharing and alternative transport (bicycles and electric cars) sharing,” said Deputy Mayor of Moscow, Head of the Moscow Department for Transport and Road Infrastructure Development Maxim Liksutov.
According to Liksutov, housing construction, population growth, and more cars require new solutions from the Moscow Government aimed at improving the city environment and its residents’ living standards.
Head of the Department for Environmental Management and Protection Anton Kulbachevsky reported that since 1 January 2017, trucks that do not meet the Euro-3 emission standards have been banned from the Third Ring Road and trucks not compliant with Euro-2 standards are not allowed on the Moscow Ring Road. “Trucks are responsible for about 30 percent of the transport emissions. The restrictions should motivate transport operators to purchase new vehicles. By our estimates, the limitations on freight transport in the city centre will reduce the level of pollution by 2-3 percent, which is a significant result for a megacity like Moscow. In late 2017, we will be able to evaluate the effectiveness of this measure,” he added.
Public transit is among the most eco-friendly transport means in Moscow. Since 2013, buses purchased by the city meet the Euro-5 emission standard. Mosgortrans (Moscow City Transport Authority) replaced 95 percent of its bus fleet. In 2016, a total of 2,000 new eco-friendly vehicles entered service due to the city surface transit reform. The average age of buses operated by commercial carriers is one year, and 4.9 years for Mosgortrans vehicles.
In the next three years, Moscow will receive 100 trams annually. Three-compartment new generation carriages will carry 30 percent more passengers than a regular tram does. Besides that, a new Russian-produced electric bus has been tested in Moscow.
Muscovites have started using cars more rationally, prioritising other transport means. In 2016, 600 million more people rode public transit than in 2010.
The launch of service on the Moscow Central Circle and of the Magistral surface transport system in 2016 made city transport more convenient and attracted new passengers. The growing popularity of the Moscow taxi service and of the car sharing system also helped to reduce the number of private cars and ease the road situation, which in turn improves the city environment.
The environmental ranking of Russian regions was launched in 2008 by the Green Patrol national public organisation. The study is published four times a year – in winter, spring, summer and autumn. The evaluation is based on the reports on the current environmentally important events, incidents and problems. The calculation methods are described on the Green Patrol’s website.