Russia’s capital, Moscow, is growing. In little over 10 years, almost 1.5million extra citizens have decided to call what is the world’s ninth most populous city home, making for a total population of 11.9m inhabitants. A high level of private car ownership (350 cars per 1,000 inhabitants), combined with a concentration of employment in the city centre has led to increasing traffic congestion and air pollution.
The city recently extended its 2012–2016 Transport Development Programme until 2020 in a bid to address the issue. The Programme’s overarching aim is to improve: the quality of public transport services, the availability of transport services and the security of the transport system whilst reducing the negative impact on the environment. It is hoped that the speed of traffic in the city will increase and travel times will be reduced.
The programme consists of several different elements:
Mosgortrans, the city’s public transport operator (bus, trolley, tram) aims to: increase the speed of urban transport via the implementation of 310km of dedicated lanes; the construction and modernisation of tram lines; the improvement of the ticket and the tariff system; the development and optimisation of the route network; the organisation of legal taxi services; the renewal of rolling stock (Euro 5) and improving access for the disabled at all stations.
Meanwhile, Moscow Metro, which transports 2.8bn passengers per year plans to construct 77 new lines and stations, purchase 3,500 new carriages on the basis of a ‘contract of life cycle,’ improve access for disabled passengers at all stations, improve the ticket and tariff system as well as extending the range of Wi-Fi coverage in the metro.
Plans are also underway to build and develop 240km of additional railway lines, the reconstruction of nine railway stations as well as the renewal of rolling stock. The "Aeroexpress" Decker trains will begin operating and increase capacity between the city and the airport, increasing the share of passenger rail transportation in the total volume of passengers and offering an improved quality of service.
Pedestrian and cycling infrastructure
Creating a comfortable environment for those who move about on foot or by bike is a mandatory step in forming a modern and civilised urban environment. Moscow Transport Department is currently developing a 253km-long bicycle route network, with bike rental and parking stations as well as pedestrian zones. These measures will help make the city more convenient, friendlier and healthier.
The Moscow Transport Authority also plans to upgrade its water infrastructure and the city’s river fleet. New water infrastructure routes and comfortable river traffic will allow citizens to use this mode (which currently carries 1.1m passengers per year) and put it on a par with other forms of transport.
Moscow Transport Department is forming a unified system of 272 transport hubs and modern bus terminals in the city. In addition, a network of interceptor parking will encourage a more considered use of private transport modes.
Traffic management and parking
The Centre of Traffic Management is working on intelligent transport systems which will help to control the traffic flow in the city in real time to prevent traffic jams.
Tighter regulation of parking spaces is also planned, increasing the capacity of urban road network and improving pedestrian accessibility whilst creating a better service for car owners.
CONTACT: Yusup Khassiev, yusup.khassiev[at]uitp.org