Moscow, Russia (Urban Transport News): On April 7, 1899, electric cars began to run regularly in the Russian capital. Now, 123 years later, despite its respectable age, the tram remains to be one of the favorite means of transport in Moscow. Trams are second only to the Moscow Metro in the number of passengers they carry, reported the press service of the Moscow Department of Transport.
The Department recalled that the first vehicles had no headlights and doors, but they were one of the fastest for its time as they could reach a speed of 40 km/h. Very soon they replaced the horse-drawn trams, and by 1930 they had become the most popular means of transport in the city, chosen daily by every third citizen of Moscow. Nowadays, Moscow trams carry more than 500 thousand passengers every day.
"Today, the Moscow tram is not only an urban transport, it is a part of the capital, one of its symbols," stressed Maksim Liksutov, the Deputy Mayor of Moscow for Transport.
Modern models of trams, such as Vityaz, are far ahead of their ancestors, as they are quiet, comfortable and fast trams that are convenient for people with disabilities. They are more capacious, environmentally friendly and reliable. Modern Vityaz-Moskva trams are low floor, they have a climate control system, USB and Type-C charging slots, bicycle, wheelchair and child baby carriage mounts, larger information screens, there are more seats - 70 instead of 60, the aisles are wider. The new trams now operate on 87% of the routes. In 2023, modern fully low-floor one- and three-section cars will make up the absolute majority of trams in the city.
"In accordance with the decree of Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin, we support domestic mechanical engineering and buy trams only from Russian manufacturers. Thanks to our contracts, 3,000 people have jobs. These are employees of the companies that supply components, maintenance companies, as well as specialists at the production facilities in Tver and St. Petersburg," concluded Maksim Liksutov, the Deputy Mayor of Moscow for Transport.
In 2021, the Moscow Metro started to operate the tram infrastructure. The single management and applying strict metro standards aim at increasing speed, enhancing maintenance, and improving passengers’ experience of the Moscow tram.
Earlier the Deputy Mayor of Moscow for Transport announced the launch of a driverless tram in Moscow by 2022-2023. The Moscow Department of Transport together with the Yandex company realizes the given project. At present, the Krasnopresnensky tram depot is preparing the equipment for the launch of a driverless tram.