Moscow to launch large new transport project

Moscow to launch large new transport project
Projects to improve the traffic on the Moscow Railway’s Yaroslavl, Kursk, Gorkovskaya (Nizhny Novgorod), Kiev and Smolensk lines will also be launched in the near future.

The city is planning to launch a large new transport project.

“We are discussing the idea of a large new project with our colleagues from Russian Railways, the Moscow Region and the Ministry of Transport. The idea is to convert radial lines into thorough diameters. Every diameter, for example, from Zelenograd to Balashikha or Podolsk, will work like the Moscow Central Circle (MCC),” Sergei Sobyanin said in the annual report at the Moscow City Duma.

Projects to improve traffic on the Yaroslavl, Kursk, Gorkovskaya, Kiev and Smolensk lines of the Moscow Railway will also be launched in the near future.

During the last seven years, 60 new metro and MCC stations have been built, as well as additional regional railway lines. “Everyday trips have become faster and more comfortable for two and a half million Muscovites and hundreds of thousands people living in the Moscow Region,” the Mayor added.

650 kilometres of roads and Intelligent Traffic Control

Average vehicles speeds have increased by 13 percent, and Moscow has improved from first (the worst) to 13th in city traffic congestion rankings in five years while the number of cars in Moscow has increased by almost a quarter. These results were achieved because of the record volumes of road construction and renovation.

“The city has built over 650 kilometres of roads, renovated outbound motorways and interchanges, and eliminated dozens of bottlenecks where drivers lost a lot of time,” Sergei Sobyanin said.

The city’s paid parking, new designated  transit lanes and renewed surface transport have helped improve the situation. Today 2,000 commercial buses carry about a million passengers every day.

Sergei Sobyanin explained: “For those who use “long” travel cards, the trip cost in commercial buses has become significantly less than in the former shuttles.” The public transit fleet has also been renewed: over 90 percent of buses and one third of metro train carriages are new. This is the highest replacement rate of any city in the world.

The life of Moscow drivers has also become easier with the city’s Intelligent Traffic Control system, which includes speed cameras, smart traffic lights and information screens. Thanks to this technology, the number of traffic fatalities has declined by 40 percent since 2010. “Moscow is the safest city in Russia in terms of the roads,” Sergei Sobyanin noted.

The polycentric development of the Moscow agglomeration also improves the transport situation. New districts not only have residential buildings, but places for work, too, which means that the volume of circular commuters is decreasing.

Sergei Sobyanin commented: “This has resulted in a decrease in the number of cars on Moscow streets and a little higher average speed. The share of Muscovites and tourists using public transit during peak hours has increased by up to 70 percent.”

New expressways, metro lines and rolling stock

Moscow will continue to develop its transport infrastructure. Our new expressways are being built to take the burden off the centre, the Garden Ring and the Third Ring Road: the North-East, North-West and the Southern expressways.

“Many drivers won’t have to go in and back out 10–15 kilometres to get to a nearby district. These projects are very complicated. Each can be compared with the renovation of the Moscow Ring Road,” Mayor Sobyanin said.

Our biggest priority is the Moscow Metro. The most important projects include the Solntsevskaya, Kozhukhovskaya and Dmitrovskaya radial lines as well as new metro lines to Khovrino and Kommunarka; so another 1.5 million Muscovites will be provided with an easy access to the most convenient city transport. In the next four years, the main sections of the Third Interchange Circuit will be completed, with its first stations opening this year.

There will also be train upgrades: over five or six years, the city will replace the old train carriages with the new Moskva trains; and older buses with environment-friendly electric buses. The tender to supply them will be announced soon.

The city has allocated about 550 billion roubles for the development of the transit system. This massive public funding is needed for significant improvement in the ability to get around for pedestrians, drivers and public transit users.

“Today’s cities are created for people, and their success depends on how comfortable life in them is. This is why I believe my main task is to create a more comfortable city for Muscovites,” Sergei Sobyanin added.