Electric buses: Count down to 3 September when the first hit the streets

Electric buses: Count down to 3 September when the first hit the streets
During the first 30 days passengers won’t have to pay to take these new buses.

Record number of  economically active passengers used the public transit system in the first six months of 2018, hitting an all-time high, said Deputy Moscow Mayor and Head of the Department of Transport and Road Infrastructure Development Maxim Liksutov.

In the first six months, the public transit system carried 1.9 billion passengers, a 44-percent increase on the same period of 2010 (1.3 billion passengers), he noted.

The number of trips involving passengers who completely pay their fares (million people)


First six months of 2010

First six months of 2018


Metro, including the Moscow Central Circle


880.0 (+ 181.1)

+ 26 percent

Surface transport (municipal and inter-regional)


647.1 (+ 204.9)

+ 46 percent

Commuter rail services


237.4 (+ 57.4)

+ 32 percent



138.7 (+ 130.5)


Car-sharing system (launched in 2015)




Municipal bike-sharing system (launched in 2013)






1,910.9 (+ 581.6)

+ 44 percent

As no other mega-city can boast such growth, this confirms the correct nature of Moscow’s transport-system development strategy.

Eco-friendly and comfortable: City to get 900 electric buses by 2020

The first electric buses, a new public-transit system, are to hit the streets on 3 September.


The completely environmentally friendly and step-free local electric buses will be fitted out with air conditioning, Wi-Fi plus USB ports for recharging mobile devices.

Electric buses will make it possible to reduce operational and maintenance expenses. They will cost 10 percent less to operate than trolleybuses, maintenance will be more straightforward, and these buses will be road worthy for 15 years if they are serviced accordingly under warranty contracts. Toxic emissions will be reduced. Moreover, noise and vibration levels inside passenger compartments will plunge by 30 percent, as compared to diesel buses.

No turnstiles on new buses

As of January 2018, turnstiles were removed on 80 bus routes. In June 2018, they were also removed on all 48 local tram lines. Therefore boarding time was reduced from five minutes to 30 seconds, and service intervals also plunged by 5-20 percent.

All turnstiles will be removed from 1 September 2018 and replaced with new validators. Ticket controllers are also already being trained.

The city continues to receive new vehicles. Between January-June 2018, 539 new buses and 60 Vityaz-M trams started plying local streets. There are plans to deliver an additional 531 buses and 20 trams before the year is out.

The city has replaced 98 percent of all buses, as well as 90 percent of the entire surface-transport system’s vehicles, since 2010.

More convenient bus/tram stops are currently being put in place. Since the onset of the year the city has already brought the grand total of new type bus stop pavilions to 802. 142 of them appeared in the first half of the year, and another 262 bus stops are to be installed by early 2019. The new bus shelters will have media screens showing arrivals and departures, Wi-Fi, ticket-vending machines and USB ports for recharging mobile devices.

Eight new metro stations

The Moscow Metro is developing as well. In the first half of the year, eight new metro stations were opened. The first section of the Big Circle Line from Petrovsky Park to Delovoi Tsentr is now operating. A total of eight million passengers have already used these five new stations. As a result, the city managed to take the load off other stations located on other lines: the passenger flow at Vystavochnaya station was decreased by 15 percent, while the flow at Dynamo and Polezhayevskaya stations was decreased by 12 and 7 percent, respectively.

The new section is now working on the Lyublinsko-Dmitrovskaya Line. Five million passengers have already used the three new stations – Petrovsko-Razumovskaya, Okruzhnaya and Seligerskaya. They allowed the passenger flow to go down at the Serpukhovsko-Timiryazevskaya Line’s Petrovsko-Razumovskaya station by 45 percent, plus decreasing the flow at Altufyevo and Vladykino stations by 3 percent.

The city continues to improve the transport management of the Moscow Central Circle. In 2017, the waiting time between trains was cut from six to five minutes during rush hour; in 2019, the city is to decrease this time by one more minute, making it four minutes.

In July, 2018, integration of the Moscow Central Circle with Savyolovskoye line of the Moscow Railway was completed with the city opening a new platform called Okruzhnaya.

During weekdays, a total of 450,000 passengers travel on the MCC. From the day the MCC was launched, a total of over 210 million people have used it. 

Moreover, the city has also finished doing up many of the metro stations. Between 2015 and 2018, a total of 179 station halls, 182 pedestrian underpasses, 220 metro canopies, 53 facades and 423 flights of steps were repaired.

Moskva trains: modification continues

Since 2010, the Moscow Metro’s rolling stock was modernised by 40 percent. In the first half of 2018, 120 modern Moskva train carriages started to be used. A total of 24 carriages now operate on Tagansko-Krasnopresnenskaya Line (by the end of the year, 168 more carriages will be allocated there), with 72 carriages on the Kaluzhsko-Rizhskaya Line (with 72 more carriages to be launched there) and 24 – on the Filyovskaya Line (with 138 more carriages to be added).

Today, the Moscow Metro has 384 Moskva train carriages. This year, it will be supplied with 498 new carriages, while next year, it will get 552 more carriages.

Trains for the Filyovskaya Line were developed specially for operating on the open sections of the Moscow Metro. In the head carriages, some seats were installed to face the front, so that the passengers can look out of the windows comfortably. In other carriages, to accommodate more passengers folding seats have been installed. The upholstery of the seats is now made from fabric, since surveys showed that passengers find fabric more comfortable to sit down on.

Instead of the traditional sort of navigation boards, there are now bright displays located above the train doors. The information depicted on them remains visible even in bright sunlight. The new carriages are equipped with door-open buttons and modern air conditioning systems that ensure a comfortable indoor climate.

The new generation of Moskva trains inherited their best features from the first generation. The new trains have convenient gangway carriage connections and larger doors, which are up to 1.4 metres wide. They also offer USB ports for recharging smartphones, as well as interactive touch screens that help passengers choose the best route and calculate travel time. In the head carriages of the train, passengers can find special vertical seats equipped with wheelchair restraint systems.

Soon, new 2019 Moskva trains will be released. They will have improved interior design, more handrails, softer and more comfortable seats, and improved multimedia information systems. In 2019, a total of 360 new carriages will be supplied to the Moscow Metro.

Apart from this, more modifications for the Moscow Metro’s rolling stock are currently being developed. Their delivery is scheduled for 2020.

Monitors in coaches and shopping discounts with the Troika travelcard

As many as 8,720 monitors have been installed in 226 metro trains, with around four to eight screens per coach. They notify passengers of transit system changes or show the news. About 94 percent of riders like the addition.

During the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Moscow was the world’s first country to broadcast the matches live in the metro. More than 20 million metro riders watched at least parts of over 60 World Cup games in real time. The France vs Croatia final was watched by more than 300,000 riders simultaneously.

Incidentally, accredited FIFA guests, athletes and officials, volunteers and fans could use Moscow public transit at no charge. They took a total of 5 million free rides, including 3.8 million by metro and the Moscow Central Circle (MCC), one million by bus or tram and 200,000 on commuter and Aeroexpress trains.

Transportation safety was provided by the Government of Moscow and the agencies responsible for security during public events. The latter include Traffic Police’s Moscow, the metro police and other agencies.

A face recognition system appeared in the metro ahead of the 2018 World Cup. It helped identify 40 federally wanted persons, proving its effectiveness.

In April 2018, the Troika card loyalty reward programme was launched. It enables riders to accumulate points and receive discounts if they add 250 roubles or more to their Troika cards. The bonuses can be exchanged for price discounts at more than 240 retail outlets.

The City – Loyalty Programme mobile application currently has more than 50,000 users, who have already accumulated over one million points.

Getting home by metro: Developing the Troitsky and Novomoskovsky administrative areas

Six new metro stations are scheduled to open soon on the Sokolnicheskaya and Kalininsko-Solntsevskaya lines. In 2016, two metro stations, Rumyantsevo and Salaryevo, opened in the Troitsky and Novomoskovsky administration areas.

A uniform public transit management model is being put in place in new Moscow territories: 37 new surface transit routes have been launched in the Troitsk and Novomoskovsk areas since 2012 and 22 more routes will open there shortly, including 13 by the end of 2018 and nine by the end of 2019. The local bus fleet will be upgraded with 118 modern buses with low floors for mobility impaired riders.

From any part of the city: Car, bike and scooter sharing

Moscow’s car sharing system (car-share) is the fastest growing in the world. In the first half of 2018, about 6 million rentals or six times more rentals than the half million over the same period last year were recorded.

At present, there are 15 car-share operators offering more than 11,000 cars (4,500 cars became available this year) and they plan to increase that number by 5,000 per year. A car can be used by several drivers a day.

The Moscow bicycle sharing system (bike-share) enjoys the highest demand in the world: 2.5 million rides were taken during the first three months of the 2018 bike season, equaling last year’s total.

There are now 430 bike-share stations offering a total of 4,300 bikes: 50 stations opened in the first half of 2018. For those who do not want to pedal, 130 electric bicycles are available. This number is expected to double this season. The city says the bike-share system will grow by 1,000 bicycles (100 rental stations) and 130 e-bikes per year.

Bicycle parades are becoming increasingly popular. Three parades were held in 2018, drawing more than 80,000 bicyclists.

In June 2018, the first electric scooter rentals opened in the city. This is a fast and eco-friendly way to get around, good for short rides in downtown districts. Muscovites take scooters to get from their homes to the nearest metro station or from the metro to work. Scooter users have already taken a total of 70,000 rides.

As many as 2,950 scooters are currently available with 3,000 more planned each year.

Traffic and pedestrian safety

Moscow is Russia’s safest city in terms of traffic.

In the first six months of 2018 the number of traffic accidents has decreased by 28 percent compared with the same period in 2010. Importantly, the number of traffic related fatalities has dropped by 42 percent and the number of injured by 28 percent.

These changes can be attributed to a package of measures. The State Traffic Safety Inspectorate has increased the efficiency of its enforcement with photo and video cameras that record traffic violations; new interchanges; and the new Road Patrol Service.

The Traffic Management Centre’s Bicycle Patrol started in June. Like the Road Patrol, it helps bicyclists, pedestrians and drivers, monitors the conditions of road signs and traffic lights and issues citations for violations by using the Moscow Assistant system. Often Bicycle Patrol employees can get to a traffic accident scene quicker than police or emergency vehicles, which is particularly important during peak hours when vehicles cannot leave the scene of an accident even after a minor fender-bender.

Bicycle Patrol officers have already filed 27 Euro protocol accident reports and requests for traffic signal and road sign repairs.

Pedestrians now feel safer and more comfortable. This is the result of the programme for upgrading Moscow streets, reorganising traffic lanes and developing urban transit. The number of walkers on streets with widened pavements (sidewalks) has grown two to seven times over.

Traffic acceleration

The Dutch company Tom Tom noted at the 2018 Moscow Urban Forum that it is hard to compete with Moscow’s efforts to counter traffic congestion. In the last six years Moscow road congestion has been reduced by 25 percent. This is the best dynamic among the world’s largest cities.

Compared with the first six months of 2017 the average speed during peak hours has increased 16 percent on the Garden Ring, 11 percent on the Third Transport Ring, 12 percent on the MKAD Ring Road and 11 percent on the capital’s main roads.

The capacity of Moscow’s main roads has remained the same. According to the Traffic Management Centre, the average surface transit vehicle speed on Magistral system routes has increased 14 percent.

In the lead

At the Moscow Urban Forum, McKinsey & Company quoted a ranking that reflected the influence of transport systems on the quality of life in metropolitan cities. Moscow was sixth among 26 cities after Singapore, Paris, Hong Kong, London and Madrid. In 2010, the Russian capital would have been ranked 20th in this rating.

Lomonosov Moscow State University presented its transport development index of the world’s leading metropolitan cities. This includes the quality of transport services, transport accessibility, transport system safety, and system impact on the environment. According to this ranking, Moscow shares the second and third spots with London, having risen from the eighth in 2010.

Analysts primarily praise Moscow for the high efficiency, convenience and accessibility of its public transit, improvement of the ticket vending system and electronic services, and the safety and security of its transport system.

PricewaterhouseCoopers included Moscow in its city space for people rating. Owing to the development of the transport system, Moscow was among the top three along with New York and Chicago.