Trolleybus in Moscow city centre
Trolleybus in Moscow city centre - ©Kowkamurka [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]

Intelligent Transport System

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Main actors

City Government

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Project area

Metropolitan Area

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Ongoing since 2012/01

ITS is an integrated system for monitoring and managing road traffic and public transport.

The Intelligent Transport System allows for monitoring and regulating traffic, predicting traffic situations, and balancing road capacity with actual traffic flows. The system consists of 2048 CCTVs and 1402 still cameras installed at various places throughout the city. The video surveillance cameras are connected to a central control and monitoring room at the Moscow Traffic Management Centre, where a large digital creen displays real-time images of traffic movements and information on road conditions.

Announcements are made and the  latest information (updated every 1-2 minutes) are provided by operators in the control room to motorists, city management agencies, Moscow 24 TV channel, 157  information screens placed along city roads, the official website and radio. Information is given on the average time to reach a particular site, areas of worst traffic congestion (delay hotspots), broken-down vehicles, accidents, violations, etc. Adaptive/coordinated traffic signals (2,313) based on detectors are installed at 1,698 intersections. Approximately 40,000 normal traffic signals are functional at other intersections, this helps for better regulation of traffic. 

Besides improving traffic regulation, implementing the ITS has also reduced air pollution and is helping to create a healthier city ennvironment. In 2013, restrictions based on an emission standards defined by the European Union were imposed on trucks that transit through the city. Additionally, in 2021 the city will cease purchasing diesel buses opting for an electric fleet moving forward.

Sustainable Development Goals

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
Moscow, Russia

Size and population development
The 2010 census records the city of Moscow with an official population of 11.5 million, a density of 5,537.2 people per square kilometer and population growth of 10.9% since the previous census in 2002. In 2012, its territory expanded from 1,000 to 2,511 square kilometers, adding another 233,000 people to the total. The estimated population in 2017 was 12,506,468, however the next census with official figures is not until 2020.

Population composition
According to the 2010 Census, the ethnic composition of Moscow comprise: Russian: 91.6%, Ukranian: 1.42 Tatar: 1.38% Armenian: 0.98% Azeri: 0.5% Jewis:h 0.49%, Belarusian: 0.4 % Uzbek: 0.3% Tajik: 0.2% Moldovan: 0.2% Mordvin: 0.2% Chechen: 0.1% Chuvash: 0.1%, Ossetians: 0.1%, Other: 1.6% The predominant religion is recorded as Christianity with the Russian Orthodox Church being the most popular. Muslims account for 14% of the population and other religions include Armenian, Buddhists, Hindu’s, Catholics, Jews, Old Believers and Protestants.

Main functions
Moscow is located in western Russia on the banks of the Moskva River. It is the northern-most megacity on earth, as well as the largest city on the European continent and the 14th largest metro area in the world. Moscow is the capital city and political, economic, cultural academic and scientific centre of Russia. Additionally, the city is the seat of power for the Government of Russia, and both chambers of the Russian parliament sit in the city. The Moscow Kremlin is the work residence for the President of Russia and the Kremlin and Red Square are both listed as World Heritage Sites.

Main industries / business
Moscow has one on the largest municipal economies in Europe and accounts for more than one fifth of Russia’s gross domestic product. Primary industries the chemical, metallurgy, food, textile, furniture, machinery and more recently software and energy production.

Political structure
The Government of Moscow is the executive body with state authority that governs the city and is led by the Mayor of Moscow. The members of the government include, the Mayor, Deputy Mayors and Government Ministers.

Administrative structure
The Moscow City Duma (city council) is the legislative branch of the Government. The City Duma’s legislation can only be overridden by the Mayor and the Federal Government. The City Duma has 45 members who are elected for a five-year term on Single-mandate constituency basis.

Moscow is the capital city  of Russian Federation with a population of 12.5 million citizens (density is 5537 people/km² on 2561.5 km² area) recorded by the Moscow labor and employment department in January 2017. Most places of employment are concentrated in the city center, within the 3d Ring Road, while most citizens live near or further towards Moscow Automobile Ring Road. This causes a large daily migration – commuter traffic in the Greater Moscow region reaches 600M passengers per year (57% of national level) and 77% of them are daily commuters.

In 2012, following twenty years of almost uncontrolled increase in urban traffic, the City of Moscow introduced a rigorous and comprehensive set of policies to address the gridlock on its roads and streets. The policies are based on an analysis of large amounts of commuting data to reduce the load on the roads through a strategic approach to upgrades, new construction and the launch of an Intelligent Transport System (ITS).

The objectives of the ITS are:

  • Managing traffic together with State Road Safety Inspection
  • Prioritizing public transport goals
  • Servicing and operating road infrastructure
  • Tuning and processing of the photo and video capture
  • Annual processing of public requests
  • Developing and approving design documentation (Complex Traffic Management Scheme, Traffic Management Project)
  • Providing state services for issue of heavy-load vehicle entry passes

ITS initiatives implemented to date include:

Paid car parking:

Paid parking was introduced in 2012 and since then has systematically expanded to areas with high car traffic. Within the framework of a policy designed to build community parking spaces, more than 67 000 paid parking spaces have been introduced since 2012, including 7, 000 parking places for disabled people. Parking violations in Moscow have fallenl by 65%. Paid parking has generated EUR 90 million in revenues over that period. These funds are used to improve the neighbourhoods where fees are collected; residents decide how to allocate funds.

Development of public transport:

The city of Moscoe's  transport system handles over 15 million passenger journeys per day. Since 2010, 34 kilometres of subway track has been added, 18 new metro stations built and approximately 1,500 new subway cars purchased. Over the same period, the public transport fleet has been updated significantly. More than 5 000 new buses, 538 trolleybuses and 150 trams have been added and the route network has been optimised. Over 100 new routes have been created for surface transport, 230 kilometres of bus lanes built, over 5 000 stops refurbished and 552 electronic information boards installed. 98% of the transit fleet servicing the routes are wheelchair-accessible.

Innovative ticketing:

More than 50% of public transport trips in Moscow use electronic travel cards called “Troika”, introduced in 2013. This has reduced queues at ticket windows by one third, drastically cut the number of tickets purchased from transport drivers, and saved EUR 15 million on the production of paper tickets. To stimulate the use of long-term passes, prices have been lowered for unlimited ride passes. An intermodal 90-minute ticket makes transfers easier, cheaper and more popular.

Governance reform in public transport:

Contracts for above-ground transport are now awarded through open competitive tenders. Bidders must guarantee standards set by the Moscow city government, including comfortable buses, payment via city transit passes, unified schedules, and provide free transit for eligible passengers. Contracts for 211 city routes have been awarded to commercial operators, with operations scheduled to start in mid-2016.

Development of cycling:

In 2015, 880 000 bike trips were made using the city’s shared bicycles, an eightfold increase over the previous year. 2,600 bicycles are available to city dwellers at 300 automatic bike stations. Between 2011 to 2015, the total length of bike paths increased nearly hundredfold, from 2.3 kilometers to 216 kilometers. Legislation was changed to allow cyclists to use bus lanes and to take bicycles on public transport for free. In 2016, a pilot program for a sharing system of electric bicycles will be launched.

Car sharing and taxi reform:

Moscow’s first short-term car sharing system commenced operating in 2015. Currently, it has a pool of 550 cars and more than 70,000 registered users who have taken over 220,000 trips. Taxis account for 260,000 daily rides in Moscow. Problems with unregulated taxi services, including the use of potentially unsafe cabs, have been addressed through the issue of more than 60,000 official permits to cab drivers.

Environmental requirements for cargo vehicles:
Since 2013,  to help improve the environmental impact and to reduce polluting emissions,  only trucks conforming to the emission standard Euro-3 or higher are allowed to enter Moscow’s downtown. More than 900 road cameras monitor truck traffic on a daily basis.  In 2015 these controls and other regulatory measures had helped reduce the air pollution level by 11%.

The lead department for the project is The Moscow Center of Organization of Road Traffic (MCORT), a subsidiary of The Department of Transport and Communication of the Moscow City Government who have an overall budget for 2012-2020 of 95.78B RUR( USD 1.7Billion dollars)

With the introduction of traffic management reforms, the following positive changes have occurred:

  • The number of cars in central Moscow has been reduced by 25%.
  • Average waiting time of public transport in the city center has been reduced from 16 to 8 minutes and for taxis from 30 to 7 minutes.
  • Average traffic speed increased by 12% in the last five years; average Moscow Ring Road driving speed increased by 5%.
  • Over speeding decreased by 15% within six months of 2016 (January to June).
  • More road space available for movement of vehicles because of parallel parking on road; number of parking violations decreased by 27% in June 2016.
  • Road sidewalks freed from parked vehicles for safe movement of pedestrians.
  • Search time for a parking space reduced by 65%, which also reduced on-road congestion.
  • Road traffic accidents, injuries and deaths reduced between 2015 and 2016.
  • 26% more residents contact Moscow transport service centre for assistance on traffic issues.

Additionally, the city of Moscow has achieved the following:

  • In May 2016 Moscow city became a Tomtom Traffic Index Parking award winner when search time for a parking space was reduced by 65%.
  • In 2016 Moscow won an International Transport Award by International Transport Forum (ITF) for tackling traffic gridlock.
  • In 2013, Moscow traffic was ranked as worst in the world then in the 2017 edition it has improved to 13th place.

The main challenge for the project is communication and collaboration between different city government departments, municipal institutions and federal government agencies, as well as integration of their information systems.

The Cty of Moscow has had the opportunity to learn from and apply the experience of cities such as Beijing, London, Singapore, and Tokyo for transport reform.

External links / documents

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Camille Toggenburger
Berlin, Germany

Camille Toggenburger

Individual | Community and Content Manager | urban sustainability exchange

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