The metro, bringing the future closer
Digital October center hosted on June 30, 2015 the launch of the Gorod Moscow Center for Urban Studies. The ‘Metro, Bringing the Future Closer’ round table was the first event in a series of expert meetings of the Gorod MCUC held to celebrate the date. The main speakers included representatives of various public, construction and sociological organizations. Keynote speakers included Mr. Valery Fyodorov (General Director of VCIOM) and Mr. Mikhail Krestmein (Acting Director of the Genplan of Moscow Institute). Other participants included Mr. Maxim Orlov, Counselor to Vice Mayor Marat Khusnullin, Timur Bashkaev, Chief Architect of the Moscow Ring Railroad, the Metro historian Alexander Popov and Kirill Yankov, Chairman of the Passengers’ Union.
The main subjects brought up during the meeting included aspects of further Metro development, maintaining balance between the speed of the Metro construction and its quality, and issues relating to improving the comfort of using this type of transport.
Mr. Valery Fyodorov, General Director of VCIOM, was the first to speak at the event. In his introduction, he updated the participants on the citizen’s sentiments regarding the Metro and the city transportation development. Mr. Fyodorov noted that requests for construction indicate that the Muscovites consider traffic interchanges and new Metro stations to be the most important facilities. The Muscovites consider the Metro to be a key transport among the infrastructure development aspects. As regards development, construction of new Metro lines and extension of the already existing ones is mentioned by the citizens even more often than the creation of new ground-based public transport routes or construction of new thoroughfares.
Mr. Mikhail Krestmein, Acting Director of the Genplan of Moscow Institute, was the second speaker at the event. Mr. Krestmein delivered a presentation on further transport system development and designing new Metro stations and lines. The main points highlighted by Mr. Krestmein included the following:
- The need to observe construction priorities. Transport system and infrastructure should be the first to be established, to be followed by the construction of residential areas.
- The construction of new lines (including circle lines). Constant extension of the existing lines will bring about a transport collapse.
- Development of transport interchange hubs and intercepting parking facilities in order to reduce the number of private vehicles in town.
- Integration of the Little Ring of the Moscow Railways and the Moscow Metro. Railway transport should be interconnected.
- Engaging the public in the Metro construction matters. The current system of public hearings has fallen short of expectations.
Positive aspects of the capital Metro include, according to the attendees of the meeting, high efficiency and speed of the Metro, positive impact of free Wi-Fi on the social environment and popularity of this means of transport among the young and the tourists. It is also necessary to mention negative moments revealed in the course of the discussion: the opposition between the architects and developers of the Metro; strict construction requirements increasing the delivery times and cost of the Metro stations; lack of technical upgrade of the existing interchange hubs.