A new designated transit lane was opened on Vozdvizhenka Street from Arbatskiye Vorota Square to Mokhovaya Street. The lane will increase bus frequency and cut travel time by about a third, Maxim Liksutov, Deputy Mayor of Moscow and Head of the Department of Transport and Road Infrastructure Development, said.
“These 500 metres is an important part of this lane. The 10,000 daily M2 riders will notice about a 30 percent decrease in travel time on this route. The M2 route runs from Fili to Kitai-Gorod metro station,” the Deputy Mayor said.
The lane will take the load off Znamenka Street, and will enable more tourists and Muscovites to use the M2 route, Liksutov said.
“If it’s currently 17,000 riders who take the M2 on weekdays, we expect that number to reach 25,000-30,000 soon. Frequency is the most important thing we aim to achieve because the M2 route must have 5 minute intervals on weekdays, ” Liksutov said.
If ridership increases, Mosgortrans, the Moscow transport authority, will use more of the larger articulated buses.
There are 28 designated transit lanes in Moscow. They make traffic safer and more efficient.
“This decade has seen the number of traffic accidents drop by nearly 40 percent. The variable that has the most effect on traffic safety is road infrastructure,” Head of the Moscow Road Police Viktor Kovalenko said.
As of today, the M2 route features two more stops, Arbatskiye Vorota and Biblioteka Imeni Lenina metro station. The night-time N2 bus will also pass Vozdvishenka and will stop at the same two new locations starting 2 April.
The new lane was launched as part of the Magistral programme, which has increased surface transport popularity in central Moscow. The lane will act as a corridor of uninterrupted transit from the Moscow Ring Road to the very centre of the city. A new route is expected to be launched in the future to connect Kutuzovsky Prospekt and Novy Arbat Street with Prospekt Mira. The average rider would currently have to change to two metro lines to get from the former streets to the latter.
Every fifth surface transit rider, or 1.5 million people, enjoy designated transit lanes daily. Another 100 kilometres of designated lanes will have been opened in Moscow by 2019.