Round Table "Changing Patterns of Transport Behaviour in a Modern Megacity" Round Table

Moscow, 16 October 2015, Moscow Urban Forum 2015 — As a part of Moscow Urban Forum 2015, Hall E of the Manege Central Exhibition Hall hosted the round table "Changing Patterns of Transport Behaviour in a Modern Megacity." The session was held under the supervision of the Institute of Transport Economics and Transport Policy Studies of the Higher School of Economics National Research University, with input from Maxim Liksutov, Deputy Mayor of Moscow, Head of the Department of Transportation and Development of Road Transport Infrastructure of Moscow, and Mikhail Blinkin, Head of the Institute of Transport Economics and Transport Policy Studies of the Higher School of Economics National Research University. Kseniya Mokrushina, Head of the Centre of Urban Studies of Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO, acted as a moderator.


The current transport behaviour of the city dwellers is defined, on the one hand, by their consumer demands and payment capabilities and, on the other hand, by the city's infrastructure potential as regards the road network and public transport. For example, consumer demands of an urban motorist, especially a first-generation motorist, can be narrowed down to a set of pre-established requirements for the city: street expansion, construction of new roads and junctions, and the creation of free car parks. The current opinion in society is that motorists should receive such benefits from the taxes they pay.


At the same time, along with the increasing self-perception level of city dwellers and development of modern technologies, transport behaviour stereotypes are at present in flux. The vector of the change is biased towards multimodal transport services that integrate different varieties of public transport, thus uniting comfortable logistics and the information environment, including, among other things, car sharing and bike sharing systems, new formats of taxi services, etc.


Current priorities of the urban transport policy are aimed at maintaining and actively promoting new models of citizens' transport behaviour. Implementation of these priorities is connected with such steps as rerouting the budget investment structure towards public transport projects, increasing the cost of owning a motor vehicle in a city, and restricting the movement of private vehicles through the city centre.


The Deputy Mayor of Moscow Maxim Liksutov noted that today there are over seven thousand park and ride spaces at metro stations, and an increase of one million vehicles from 2010 to 2015. But despite this fact, the city is still on the move. According to his speech, the Moscow Ring Railway (MRR) will begin operations in 2016, and over RUB 80 billion of the Government of Moscow's own funds will be invested for its construction. As a result, congestion on the Metro's ring line will be reduced by 10-12 times.


Transport behaviour of citizens has changed substantially in the past few years. Implementation of new formats, control methods, and other steps taken by the Government of Moscow and the Department of Transportation and Development of Road Infrastructure, in particular, those taken in close collaboration with small- and medium-sized enterprises, are aimed at creating as comfortable urban environment as possible.


Mikhail Blinkin asserted that the Directors of the HSE Institute of Transportation Economics and Policy need to understand how to leave their cars at home. For example, if someone is driving downtown from Shcherbinka, then he will need to get on the Metro at Tsarytsino. But as it turns out, a juncture between the metro and the railway simply does not exist because no one is responsible for it. "This raises the issue of "last mile transportation," and if that bit doesn't work like clockwork, then there isn't a soul in the world who can force a stubborn driver to get out of their car."


Final theses of the round table "Changing Patterns of Transport Behaviour in a Modern Megacity":

  • A large city like Moscow should have a fully developed public transportation transfer system in place for passengers of both below and above-ground transportation, be it in the city or the suburbs;
  • There currently is not enough vehicle space on Moscow highways because highways comprise only 9% of all city space, compared to 25% in other large cities;
  • The Government of Moscow is doing everything it can to entice residents into leaving their personal vehicles behind for public transport or a bicycle in the summer. In 2014, there were roughly 100 thousand bike rentals, and now in 2015, even though the season is yet to end, there have been 10 times that amount (over 1 million rentals).


The Moscow Urban Forum is being held under the auspices of the Government of Moscow with Mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin present in person. The Forum is organised by ANO Moscow Urban Forum. The Moscow Urban Forum was held for the first time in 2011. The Forum was planned to be a venue for dialogue, where the authorities, experts, investors, and business representatives could openly discuss new challenges, trends, and key events of national and global urbanism and city planning. Over the years, the Forum has become a reference point for new projects and initiatives of the Moscow Government directed to all-round development of the megacity, stimulating quality changes in our capital city and spreading the best practices across the country and globally.