Moscow plans to build 300 kilometers of dedicated bus lanes in the next three years.
"We have approved a programme for building dedicated bus lanes. We should commission more than 100 kilometers of them this year and then 100 kilometres in 2012 and as many in 2013," Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said.
"We will have to carry out a set of measures, specifically determine how many parking lots are needed, especially in places where buses turn around at the end of their routes so that passengers could leave their own cars there and use public transport," he said.
The mayor noted that some 25,000 parking lots would have to be built near subway stations.
The mayor earlier spoke critically of how parking places were being built near subway stations is proceeding.
When told that construction work was underway only at two out of seven subway stations in the district, Sobyanin said, "That's not enough at all. You should go with road services, transport companies and the subway and look for places. I don't believe there is no place."
In addition, the schedule for building dedicated bus lanes has to be coordinated with the construction for outgoing roads that has already begun this year.
"It is necessary to change the network of routes in order to get the best possible effect from dedicated bus lanes and make sure that buses do not get stuck in traffic jams outside the city boundaries and other places," Sobyanin said.
He believes that the city administration has to pool efforts with the Transport Ministry and the Moscow region in order to determine how far dedicated bus lanes should run into the region so that people who travel to Moscow from the region do not cross the MKAD orbital road but switch to express trains and buses before that.
"If we do this, we will get 300 kilometres of dedicated bus lanes in there years. This would match the level of the world's major cities that solve this problem [traffic jams] in such a way," the mayor said.
He also stressed the need for administrative support for dedicated bus lanes. "To avoid violations, we need not only well coordinated work of the traffic police but also technical means that will register violations, especially since parking fines will remain quite small for another whole year," he said.
It is planned that in addition to traffic police, a special service called "Road Laboratory" will watch traffic violations by patrolling dedicated bus lanes using vehicles provided with video cameras.
The Moscow city authorities will install 800 cameras by 2014 for automatic registration of traffic violations on the road.
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