Rapidly growing Kazakhstan sees large public transport plans

Almaty Metro © iStock / Rafael Weidenmeier

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Regulatory frameworks and the governance of public transport were the focus of an international conference organised by UITP and UNDP/GEF CAST in the Kazakh city of Almaty on April 10.

Defining a fair and transparent framework for public transport is a hot topic not only in Kazakhstan but also globally and needs can vary according to the degree of development and market maturity.

The conference focused on three main issues: 1) Integration and the need to ensure sufficient coordination between mobility policies, networks and services; 2) Regulation and the importance of a transparent and balanced relationship between authority and operator; 3) Funding and financing and the need for a resilient funding architecture in public transport that will resist the winds of political and economic change.

The host city, Almaty, has its own experience in the above. Since last year, the city territory has grown by 40% following the integration of neighbouring areas bringing the challenge of urban sprawl to the fore.
"One of Almaty’s biggest challenges is to reduce air pollution,” said Yuriy Ilin, Deputy Mayor of Almaty. “Promoting and modernising public transport is a way to address this challenge”. The city currently has one metro line (with seven stations), carrying 24,000 passengers per day, while two more stations will open next week in residential areas which will increase ridership.

The city also recently set up a 'Transport holding' which is a PPP body (70% private, 30% public) that will act as an organising authority and the world’s first private-public authority.

Network extension plans are underway and a feasibility study for a 20km LRT line was recently finalised. A network of six BRT lines is also planned with construction of the first line to start soon with a cycle lane running in parallel.

Meanwhile in the Kazakh capital, Astana, work will soon begin on a 23km LRT line planned to carry 83,000 pasengers per day and set to commence operation in time for the EXPO 2017. The city will also invest $600m in public transport equipment and services. Astana LRT’s Director of Development, Ruslam Halilev, commented: “I am very happy that UITP provided us with detailed information on ticketing which helped us define our specifications”.

UITP Deputy Secretary General, Mohamed Mezghani, concluded: “This conference is a humble contribution to the debate on public transport in Kazakhstan. With its rapid economic growth, Kazakhstan will demand more and more public transport infrastructure. In this context, holding such events will certainly raise awareness on the key issues and hopefully give inspiration for further actions”.   

Regulatory Framework and Governance of Public Transport conference was sponsored by Kentkart. The Automated Fare Collection, Vehicle Management, Real Time Passenger Information, Planning and On-Board Video Surveillance Systems of Kentkart, have provided public transportation with the attributes of being accurate, smooth and sustainable. Kentkart,  also carries out 25 domestic projects and 10 international projects in countries like Jordan -Amman, Serbia – Belgrade, Qatar - Doha, Pakistan - Lahore, Pakistan-Islamabad, Hungary – Miskolc, Hungary-Tatabanya, Hungary – Vertes Kosovo - Prizren, Macedonia - Skopje, Poland – Tczew and Azerbaijan-Baku. For further information about Kentkart please visit www.kentkart.com   

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