Bus or vision? When the reform of transport reaches the cities and towns

Weekly “Arguments and Facts” No. 03. Either a bus, or a vision. When will the modernization of public transport reach cities and villages? 19/01/2022

Last year, the President instructed the prime minister to Mishustinapprove a unified program for the modernization of public transport. According to the most conservative estimates, 5.2 trillion rubles are needed to renew 75% of the park. It was planned to form the program by January 1, 2022. However, it was not possible to meet the deadlines. What are the challenges of bringing urban transport back to normal? 

“Not a trip, but a game of survival”

The regions have already begun to reform urban transport. But the process is far from being successful everywhere.

Novokuznetsk: an unpleasant surprise

So, in & nbsp; Novokuznetsk, Kemerovo region. transport reform began in the fall of 2019. In just a few days, not only the entire fleet of buses, but also carriers and all routes were replaced in the city. As a result, 400 private grooves were not needed. In return, they received large “Volgabas” a company that won almost all the lots.

In the first few weeks, there was a collapse: people could not quickly switch to new routes and schedules, there were not enough buses, because the company did not have time to transport all the required number of vehicles to the city. And drivers were urgently sent from other cities. Not knowing Novokuznetsk, they got confused in & nbsp; routes and & nbsp; streets, causing even greater discontent among the residents. As a result, under the pressure of the townspeople, the administration was forced to return some routes, and others – adjust.

And the authorities also promised the same tariffs for  – 20 rub. for a trip and transfer without payment within 40 minutes. But it turned out that the transfer ticket is valid only if you pay by card, there are no such benefits for cash payments. 

Astrakhan: “Give us back the horned ones!”

Astrakhan in 2021 took the last place in rating by the level of development of public transport among 60 Russian cities. The main means of transportation in city – fixed-route taxis. There are few buses, and they run only on four routes. And you can only go to remote areas of the city by taxi. Not only are minibuses uncontested, so also every trip – as a survival test: drivers are reckless, they smoke in the cabin, they are rude. In terms of the number of accidents, minibuses are among the leaders, according to the regional Ministry of Internal Affairs. They replaced the trams that were liquidated in Astrakhan back in 2007. Even the rails were then dismantled and sold to the outside. In & nbsp; 2017, trolleybuses were also destroyed, but the contact network was preserved. However, in response to the requests of the residents to return the “horned” The authorities say: don wait.

The city has been promised a big transport reform for years. For example, enter a water taxi (the same river bus), add buses – they will be allowed on & nbsp; 48 routes, they want to introduce a & nbsp; city electric train. But so far these are just words. & nbsp;

Penza: 40 trolleybuses left

The inhabitants of Penza have the words «public transport» will elicit a sad smile at best. Seven years ago, the transport giant MUP “Passenger transportation of the city of Penza” collapsed, and the niche was filled by private traders. Now there are a dozen companies operating in this area, but almost all of them are associated with two Penza businessmen: Nikolai Krivozubov and Oleg Fomin.

Fares now go up almost every year. The regional OFAS more than once entered into a fight with carriers, but businessmen deftly fought back in court. A since 2019  unregulated tariffs have been introduced in the city, and the municipality has little leverage left to keep the traffic tycoons in in line.

But a special pain for Penza residents – trolleybuses. There are 40 of them left for the whole city, and after all, they have the cheapest travel – only 20 rub. In march­ruts –  1.5 times more expensive. “Part of the trolleybuses are on the "eternal joke" in depot, – tells the conductor Taisia. – And & nbsp; those working are badly worn out: rusty sides, the floor is in & nbsp; iron patches. A year ago, they wanted to remove them from the streets, but the deputies nevertheless allocated money for the work of the "horned". The inhabitants were delighted and appearance in 2021  GKU “Organizer of transportation of the Penza region”. But the company promises to start work only from 2022   

Kaluga: «crooked, oblique bucket»

«Crooked, oblique, rotten bucket that plugs narrow streets and dangerous for other» – this is what a local resident Alexander Kuznetsov says about the route grooves scurrying along the streets of Kaluga. The choice of Kaluzhans and is really small: trolleybuses, PAZs or minibuses for 20 people. In & nbsp; 2020, some of the old buses owned by individual entrepreneurs were removed from the streets, having purchased 60 new cars for leasing for & nbsp; the municipal enterprise “Kaluga Trolleybus Administration”. For a month their work was debugged. According to the words of the mayor of Kaluga Dmitry Denisov, private carriers should gradually ­leave the streets. They will be replaced by companies subsidized by the municipality. For this, it is planned to upgrade the entire fleet of passenger transport. The authorities of the region for the third time applied for an infrastructure loan. But commercial carriers are in no hurry to buy new cars. And not out of stinginess. “They extend our transport cards for just 9 months and every time they say: ‘You won’t be here soon. While the city is looking for money for buses, they let us work. How long this will last, no one knows. And to buy a new car for several million, in order to be left without a job in a few months, there are no people who want it, – a representative of one of carriers complains. 

Krasnodar: what do we pay for?

In Krasnodar, municipal trams, trolleybuses and buses have much fewer claims from passengers than to private traders. On suburban routes, where there is practically no municipal transport left, people complain about the irregularity of flights and crowded buses. The city is growing, the population is increasing, and public transport is not keeping up with it. Passengers, on the other hand, do not have time to keep up with the increase in fares.

– The main reason for the indignation of residents – discrepancy between prices and quality of services, – considers the coordinator of the public movement “Transport Initiative” Marina Repeshchuk. – Nothing changes for the better: the buses are old, the drivers are rude, you won’t get transport in the evening, and paying for such a "service" with every year there are more. Firms sometimes do not fulfill the conditions of tenders, according to which they won the right to serve the route. For example, according to  documents, they promised buses no older than 5 years and with air conditioning, but in fact they drive old and without cooling.

The fact that the transport infrastructure requires development is also recognized by the authorities of the region. At the regional meeting, Governor Veniamin Kondratiev focused on this problem. “The city is growing, and a radical improvement in public transport, the construction of new tram lines and the renewal of the tram fleet will help to cope with the load. For these purposes, in 2022 1 billion rubles is envisaged», – he said. 

Volgograd, Bryansk and Smolensk: prices are rising

Fares are rising everywhere. In Volgograd, using a transport card, one trip now costs 23 rubles. (was 20 rubles), when paying with a bank card – 28 rubles, for cash – 30 rub. (was 25). In Bryansk from January 11, the cost of one trip on card – 22 rubles, if in cash – 25 rub. In Smolensk, travel on some routes has risen in price by 5–7 rubles.

The first domestic omnibuses received the nickname “40 Martyrs”

Passengers choke for a seat on the omnibus. St. Petersburg, 1873. Photo: Public Domain

No one will name the specific date of the appearance of public transport in Moscow, in the role of which cabmen acted in the past centuries.

“Real” public transport began with an analogue of intercity buses – in 1820  the movement of stagecoaches between Moscow and St. Petersburg was opened. Intracity public transport began to function in 1828 g. It was then that the capital of the empire allowed the movement of two- and three-harness horse-drawn closed carriages, called omnibuses, for 16 seats.

In 1832 there was a qualitative breakthrough – crews have become more spacious. In appendix to "Sankt-Peterburgskiye Vedomosti" it is stated: “These omnibuses look like a carriage with an imperial (second open floor. – Ed.) and place from 30 to 40 people. Inside the carriage, travel is 80 kopecks, on imperial – 40 cop. A quarter of an hour before departure, the conductor gives a signal with a pipe about readiness for departure. Then he gives such signals more often, so that those who wish to take an empty place can come.

Since our roads, even in the capitals, were traditionally of lousy quality, the trip in the omnibus was so “fun” that wits instantly nicknamed this mode of transport “40 martyrs.” In Moscow went their own way – along with closed omnibuses from 1847 g. open wagons for 10 14 seats plied along the route lines, where passengers sat with their backs to each other and sideways to the direction of travel. Such wagons were called sideeyks or rulers. The fare in them cost 10 kopecks. They survived until the end of the 19th century. and were witnesses to the appearance of the first rail public transport – horse-drawn tram, trams. 

In & nbsp; in 1872  But the Moscow horse tram developed in its own way. K 1891  the system was revised – now it was possible to travel along all lines on one transfer ticket. There were 25 lines, the length of the path – 94 km. Every day, 400 cars and 2 thous. horses. Russia in public transport at least did not lag behind leaders, at least at first. The first omnibus appeared in France in 1826 , in England – in 1829  Petersburg with its 1828 looks quite respectable. Then the backlog began to grow. So, the first steam tram entered the streets of New Orleans, USA, in 1873 , in Petersburg –  9 years late, in 1882  The first electric tram started in Berlin in 1881 and in  – already 11 years behind, in 1892 g., in Kiev.

Who will pay the fare?

Experts compare transportation based on a chaotic combination of municipal and private routes with African ones. How to make urban transportation systems civilized? “AiF” discussed this issue with General Director of the non-profit organization “For public transport” Alexander ­Pitirimov.

Where they are “going” new buses

– How many vehicles require replacement throughout Russia?

– Now the country operates 850 thousand buses, 46% of them are older than 10 years. That is, 390 thousand cars have already exhausted their resource. The average age of the bus fleet – 16.5 years old. In addition, passengers are transported by 8 thousand tram cars and 9 thousand trolleybuses, the fleet of which is worn out by 75–80%.

A large new bus costs 10 million rubles today, a trolleybus – 20 million, tram car – 30 & ndash; 40 million. This means that 3.9 & nbsp; trillion & shy; is needed for the renovation of the bus fleet alone. And how fast this process will go depends on the scale of government investments in modernization of transport. The companies involved in passenger transportation themselves do not have the required amounts. At least half of them are unprofitable.

– But since 2020, federal money has gone into public transportation. What's done on them? And what are you planning to do?

– Within the framework of the national project "Safe and"high-quality roads" the government for the first time began to subsidize transport leasing. This scheme gives carriers the opportunity to purchase vehicles at a 60% discount. According to the Ministry of Transport, by December 2021, cities received 1,131 units of new vehicles through it. This is not enough, of course. But after decades of non-stop aging of the park, this is a breakthrough. The new transport strategy of the country, approved 1.5 months ago, assumes that by 2035 the total volume of investments in public transport (including the metro and urban trains) will amount to   ­trln rubles.

It is planned that from 2022 state reserves – 52 billion­ rub. from the National Wealth Fund. These will be preferential loans that will be used not only for the purchase of cars, but also for the restoration of the tram and trolleybus infrastructure. The Ministry of Transport is now working on a comprehensive public transport modernization program that will bring together all these plans and funding sources.

– Who buys discounted buses – public or private carriers?

– In basic – municipal enterprises. Strict requirements are set for the participants of the national project, which most private traders cannot or do not want to fulfill. Cars must drive along routes from 6am to 23pm and strictly observe the minimum traffic intervals. All carriers must operate on a single regulated tariff and accept transport cards for payment. While this is not possible everywhere. Out of  60-plus agglomerations that applied for preferential leasing, only 13 received this opportunity in 2021. Among them are Voronezh, Yekaterinburg, Ivanovo, ­Kazan, Krasnoyarsk.

Why transport is better in Moscow

– Purchased buses in 10 years will have to be changed again. Will transport workers get by without support in the future?

– It's an impossible dream. For this, it is necessary that the fare fully covers all the current and investment needs of the enterprise. All over the world, where transport functions well, it is subsidized by the authorities. And & nbsp; in countries where the authorities do not find money for this, urban transportation & nbsp; & ndash; the same pain as in Russia.

– But in our country there is a good example – Moscow. There are almost no old buses on the streets, and the new ones run like clockwork. Salary of drivers – up to & nbsp; 100 thousand rubles. Is it realistic to do this in all other cities?

– The Moscow authorities enter into so-called gross contracts with carriers, under which the income of a passenger company depends on compliance with the traffic schedule and the distance traveled. And how many passengers were transported – irrelevant. The money for the fare goes to the account of a special municipal company created to manage the transport. And she pays the carrier for the work.

In addition to Moscow, transport in Perm, Tver, Belgorod has been transferred to gross contracts. Thinking about it and in other large cities. But in order for transport to develop and become truly convenient, it is not enough just to change the financing model. It is important that the fee that the carrier receives from the city fully compensates the current costs of transport work and the upcoming fleet renewal. Alas, in contrast to the capital, the budgetary possibilities of most municipalities do not allow the implementation of such a full-fledged contract. Often it is not even known how much money needs to be added from the budget to the fees from passengers in order to achieve full payback of transport. According to expert estimates, 10% of the proceeds from ticket sales goes beyond the box office. Therefore, the first condition that must be met in order to civilize the transport system, – this is to introduce cashless payment by cards in the city and whitewash cash flows. 

– Does the government of the country plan to pay subsidies to the regions for the operation of public transport?

– So far, no federal program provides for this. But experts are sure that such a measure is necessary. Without it, there will be no desired effect from investments in modernization of the transport fleet. Perhaps the government should, as an experiment, finance from the federal budget in one of the cities not the renewal of the rolling stock, but the introduction of the gross contract. After all, if the municipality has enough money, it will find it for daily transport work, and for investments.

Who replenishes the transport fleet?

In 2020 in Russia 13,780 large and medium buses, 287 trolleybuses and 190 tram cars were produced.

– The main bus factories in Russia have been known since Soviet times – PAZ in Nizhny Novgorod region, LiAZ – in Moscow and KAvZ – in Kurgan – tells Chairman of the Union of Passengers Kirill Yankov. – In recent years, the production of KAMAZ electric buses has appeared; and NefAZ gas engine buses in Neftekamsk, and  Volgabas” organized the production of buses and electric buses in Volzhsky.

The oldest manufacturer of tram cars – Ust-Katav Carriage Works in the Chelyabinsk region. Since 1990s produces trams “Uraltransmash” in Yekaterinburg. And & nbsp; most of the wagons in recent years have been built by the young company PK Transport Systems, which has factories in & nbsp; Petersburg, Tver and & nbsp; Saratov Region. It specializes  in development low-floor electric vehicles. Her most famous models – tram “Vityaz” and "Admiral" trolleybus. Thanks to her, the production of trolleybuses was revived in Engels near Saratov. And two more trolleybus production facilities operate in Vologda and Ufa. 

Municipal enterprises, as a rule, buy only Russian and Belarusian equipment. Private traders import new buses from China, Japan, Turkey. But the share of imports, including MAZs from Belarus, is only 15%. 

“Drive yourself in such conditions!”

Those who drive buses and minibuses have their own view of both problems and their solution .

Sergey Oshurkov, Chairman of the Association of Motor Transport Enterprises of Irkutsk:

– One of the biggest challenges faced by trucking companies, – rising prices for fuel and spare­parts. It's very hard to keep up with them. We calculated: in order to renew the fleet, raise the salaries of drivers, keep up with the increase in the cost of fuel and lubricants and spare parts, the tariff should be 70 & ndash; 80 rubles. for the train­ku. And              Irkutsk! Passengers will not be satisfied with such figures. And I understand them: the prices of everything are growing uncontrollably, and the salary of people hardly changes.

Another problem – the state of the rolling stock. Transport is badly worn out, but it is becoming more and more difficult to update it. Starting from the new year, for example, they promise to increase the prices for grooves by 6–10%. If earlier we bought a PAZik for 4 million rubles, now we will take it for & nbsp; 400 thousand more. And after all, we buy equipment on credit and leasing. So it turns out: the bus is already falling apart, and s still we still haven't returned even the money we spent on buying it, not to mention the profit. It would be a little easier if the banks gave these loans at a concessional interest. This is how they do it abroad: for public transport companies, rates are below market rates.

The problems of carriers were exacerbated by the pandemic – we started losing drivers. Someone got sick and still hasn’t recovered, someone was afraid of getting sick (in our work you deal with thousands of people every day) and quit. Some employees can't handle a lot of conflict. After all, they were given the task of checking whether passengers are wearing masks. Sometimes it came to & nbsp; fights! And how can you keep track of whether someone in the salon has taken off his mask, if the main task of the driver – keep an eye on the road and transport people safely? If a person tries to avoid quarrels, he simply gets up and leaves: “Drive yourself in such conditions!” And the queue of wishing to take his place is not worth it. 

To solve all these problems, we need government support – first of all, assistance in the purchase of fuel, spare parts, new buses. Only then will public transport become more comfortable.

The opinion of the author may not coincide with the editorial change 

Источник aif.ru

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