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Weekly “Argumenty i Fakty” No. 37. With all the consequences. What is pouring from the tap 14/09/2022

In Orel, the average age of trams is 36 years; in Barnaul — 34 years… A whole era has changed, computers, the Internet and mobile phones have appeared, and these fragments of the past still go on the route.

At the same time, there are cities in Russia where transport is younger and  ; more cheerful. For example, in Kazan, the tram is on average 5.5 years, in Rostov-on-Don — 5.7 & nbsp; years. When will all Russians switch to modern and comfortable public transport?

What we drive?

Now in & nbsp; Russia 850 & nbsp; thousand. buses, their average age — 16.5 & nbsp; years. More passengers are transported by 8 & nbsp; thousand. trams and 9 thousand trolleybuses, the fleet of which, according to the Ministry of Transport, is worn out by 80%. Of course, things are different in different regions. According to the  rating of VEB.RF and Simetra Competence Center, the highest quality public transport (Moscow and St. Petersburg did not participate in the study) in Ekaterinburg, Perm and Kazan. Three outsiders — Astrakhan, Vladikavkaz and Penza.

At the same time, against the background of the poor quality of buses and trams, the fare in them is steadily increasing. In most cities and towns, this happened in January of this year. The most “expensive” Murmansk, Yakutsk, Kazan, Petrozavodsk and Samara became cities from the point of view of travel (not counting Moscow and St. Petersburg). Here, for the ticket must be paid from 30 to 35 rub.

What should be the fare for  travel?

«Public transport has always been “poor grandmother”, — says HSE Professor Mikhail Blinkin.     In the late 1980s, city dwellers began to change to personal cars, and later this trend intensified. And  the authorities decided that the people would go where they needed by themselves in their cars, buses and trams were not needed. As a last resort, you can use private minibuses. As a result, the industry has been chronically underfunded. In addition, the social aspect, expressed in low fares, had a negative impact. The average price of “ticket” in Russia 20–25 rub. In countries of similar development level it costs about $1.4  (about 85 & nbsp; rubles). The combination of “abandonment” from the side of the authorities and low tariffs and“planted” public transport on a starvation ration».

A big new bus now costs about 10 million rubles, a trolleybus — 20 million, tram car — 30–40 million Where can cities get that kind of money?

«For transport companies to survive, the minimum fare should be 50 rubles for a trip — sure member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation, chairman of the All-Russian Association of Passengers Ilya Zotov. — But this level will cause protests from the population. Therefore, it is impossible to do without state funding. For example, it is possible to redirect part of the funds from the road fund, because improving the quality of public transport services will lead, among other things, to reducing the load on the road network».

"Trolleybus should be saved!"

  Recently, the scale of the problems has become understood in government, — Blinkin says. — Federal programs have been launched, national projects are involved. We began to produce modern low-floor buses, electric buses and trams. The trolleybus stands a little apart. The use of this type of urban transport is declining all over the world, and it seems that we have no prospects for its development either. But in in no case should you cut off the contact network where it is!»

By the end of last year, according to state programs, the cities received 1,131 new buses and trams, but, according to Zotov, this is not enough. “The rolling stock fleet is so worn out that the supply of one or two (and even a dozen) buses to the city does not solve the problem, & nbsp; & mdash; says the expert. — More serious investments are needed».

Federal money went to public transport from 2020  Only under the state program for the modernization of public transport until the end of 2024. 203 billion rubles will be spent. National project “Safe and high-quality roads” will add another 33 & nbsp; billion. And this year, for the first time, money from FNB — 53 & nbsp; billion rubles.

In total, according to the transport strategy of the Ministry of Transport, by 2035  the total investment in public transport should amount to 10 trillion rubles. If the program is not cut to save money, the old rusty grooves will finally leave our cities and give way to new buses.

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