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HANNOVER, April 23 (Itar-Tass) —— Moscow will focus on developing public transport, fighting illegal parking, developing legal tax and building bicycle tracks.
“We are facing a situation where one in three Muscovites spends more than three hours on the way to work and back. If we do not start taking measures, the transport system will be overloaded by 75 percent by 2020 and the city will simply come to a halt,” First Deputy Head of the Department of Transport and Development of Moscow’s Road and Transport Infrastructure Yevgeny Mikhailov said at a round table at an industrial exhibition in Hannover on Monday, April 23.
He stressed the need to reduce this time to no more than 50 minutes on the average. In order to do that “we need to increase the passenger capacity of public transport by 40 percent, reduce the number of private cars by 33 percent and improve public transport service,” the official said.
Mikhailov stressed that parking in wrong places creates big problems in the city. “One-third of vehicles are parked in violation of the traffic rules,” he said.
All fines for wrong parking will go to a special fund for road development.
The Moscow authorities also plan to create an express public transport network.
“We are working on this in cooperation with scientists in order to create a new network of express routes,” Deputy Mayor Nikolai Lyamov said earlier.
The existing network of public transport routes was created in Soviet times and had 9,000 vehicles of the Mosgortrans municipal transportation company. In post-Soviet times, 7,000 vehicles of private companies started operating in the city. Their routes often overlap and duplicate each other.
Lyamov said the city authorities would also create dedicated lanes for municipal transport on key roads and highways and had already allocated 6.5 billion roubles for buying new vehicles, primarily buses that will have to meet Euro-4 and Euro-5 standards and be fit for transporting people with disabilities.
More than 500 buses and 200 trolley-buses will be replaced in the near future, Lyamov said.
The city administration also intends to replace all tram tracks and then the trams themselves approximately in 2012-2013.
Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin earlier ordered the drafting of a consolidated general plan for the development of public transport in the city.
“It is surprising that the city has no consolidated plan for the development of public transport,” the mayor said.
He also ordered creating a traffic controlling service that would “cover public transport irrespective of who owns it and that could be used by all parties to the fullest extent possible.”