Air conditioners and heaters will be installed in every tram

Air conditioners and heaters will be installed in every tram

© Igor Samokhvalov/PG

Over the past thirty years, Russia has almost halved the number of trolleybuses and trams, and the length of tram lines has decreased by 20 percent. The Ministry of Transport believes that it is possible to update public transport, making it comfortable for passengers, in eight years. The new cars will have air conditioners, heaters, video cameras, and the fare will be non-cash. But the modernization requires about 1.1 trillion rubles, and investors cannot cope without state support. At parliamentary hearings in the State Duma on October 6, it was proposed to increase the responsibility of the regions for replacing urban electric transport.

The old technology was proposed to be written off

Trams and trolleybuses are environmentally friendly and less emergency transport than buses and cars. In the early 1990s, Russia was the world leader in the number of cities with electric transport. In 1995, residents of 126 settlements traveled on it.

But over the past 30 years, trams and trolleybuses have disappeared in 20 cities, and the length of tram lines has decreased from 7 to 5 thousand kilometers. According to Rosstat, 56 percent of trams in Russia are over 25 years old, and 40 percent of trolleybuses are over 15 years old.

Speaker of the State Duma Viacheslav Volodin offered to write off obsolete equipment, because it is not only uncomfortable, but also dangerous for passengers. “It is clear that it is possible to extend the possibility of using transport to infinity. And today, 20-year-old trams run on the line, not from a good life. But they, in a good way, should be written off, just like trolleybuses,” Volodin said.

Viacheslav Volodin
© press service of the State Duma

But you can’t write them off right away. The transport strategy of the Russian Federation until 2030 involves the gradual replacement of public transport and an increase in its share in passenger traffic from the current 54 percent to 69 percent.

Public land transport – bus, tram, trolleybus – now accounts for 72 percent of traffic in the country, the head of the Ministry of Transport noted Vitaly Saveliev. In cities, 12 billion passengers use it every year. More than 14 percent of them ride trolleybuses and trams, which is about 1 billion 800 million people. And if equipment is updated in large cities, then in small settlements citizens often have to move on outdated PAZs and gazelles, and trams often go off the rails.

Where to get money

The renewal of the fleet of trams and trolleybuses requires 1.1 trillion rubles, according to the Ministry of Transport. But there is not enough money in the municipal budgets, and because of this, trolleybus routes and tram depots are closed. The government found a way out and offered to repair urban transport with the help of concession agreements – at the expense of investors and the state. As a result, some cities launched new tram routes and purchased equipment.

In August, the first intercity tram line Yekaterinburg – Verkhnyaya Pyshma was opened in the history of post-Soviet Russia. More than 10,000 people use this route daily. In Taganrog, tram lines were reconstructed, two new routes were launched and 50 new trams were bought. The modernization of public electric transport began in Kursk.

The new routes are driven by the most modern vehicles. Manufacturers presented samples of the new electric transport at an exhibition in the State Duma. Modern trams are silent, and trolleybuses can travel autonomously for about 20 kilometers, without being connected to a contact network. All equipment is equipped with air conditioners, heaters, video cameras and ramps for the disabled.

© Igor Samokhvalov/PG

Russian manufacturers can upgrade the urban electric transport fleet in eight years. According to Vitaly Savelyev, the plants are capable of producing more than 700 trams and thousands of trolleybuses a year. But they are not cheap – up to 60 million per unit of transport.

Obviously, in order to replace the old equipment and restore the tracks, it is necessary to allocate more public funds and attract investors. The governor of the Kursk region asked to increase subsidies from the federal budget for these purposes Roman Starovoitand the leader of the Communist Party Gennady Zyuganov believes that it is necessary to develop public transport entirely at the expense of the budget. “The issue should be resolved in the field of budgetary financing and the allocation of this line to a special national project and program,” he said.

The development of the urban transport network will be reflected in the federal budget, the draft of which was submitted to the State Duma on September 28. Viacheslav Volodin believes that in the budget for the next three years, it is necessary to introduce a financing model in which not only municipalities, but also regions will be involved in the purchase of electric vehicles.

“It would be right for the regions not to remain silent and sit back that this is supposedly not ours, but a city problem, and take upon themselves the solution of this issue,” the politician said. He stressed that many tram and trolleybus routes were closed due to the fact that the city budget could not cope, and the region stood aside. At the same time, the budget of most regions allows solving transport problems.


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