Abdikhamit Tamabayev: It’s early to talk about introduction of tolls in Astana street

Date: 15:02, 26-02-2016.

Astana.  February 26. KazTAG - Zhanbolat Mamyshev. The capital of Kazakhstan in the coming years expects to see a big change in the transport sector: introduction of e-payment cards for traveling, light rail transport (LRT) and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), a new railway station and two bus stations, paid parking system. Abdykhamit Tamabayev, deputy head of passenger and highways department of Astana told KazTAG about modernization of the transport system in the city.

- When do you plan to launch the project of paid parking in Astana?

- This work is underway, but the question still concerns the investors. We are working with investors. If all goes well, if we reach the understanding, of course, it will be.

- Do investors need to put a system of charging for the parking?

- General work is going including the supply system, etc. As for the  financial matters , we need to make everything automatically, and all together ... It's a lot of work... We are negotiating these issues.

- Previously, the launch of the project was announced…

- You know very well the financial situation. Initially we had our inspiration, but the time puts the point. We failed to do it with those we had started with.  Now we are working with others.

- Do you plan to introduce a paid travel on certain streets ...

- All of this together. How much, what and what proportion should be. We have general understanding of it and we are looking for investors.

- How many streets do you want to make tolled?

- It’s early talking about it now, we need a complex approach. There are several options. If one  option does not work – another option will do. Now it’s early to talk about anything.

- It used to be allowed to drive 80 km/h on the bypass road from Astrakhan highway (former Tlendiyev) to "Khan Shatyr",  now near  "Zhagalau" there is a limit of 40 km / h. Don’t you plan to change the restriction to 80 km/h, like in Almaty?

- The desire is always there. Faster is naturally better. But passenger traffic puts its adjustments, and the best option is taken. Our desire, of course, is to give way to the traffic flow probably the maximum limit will be set.

- In Astana Invest 2015 Forum they spread the information that the proportion of people using public transport in Astana will grow ...

- Oh sure. It is gradually going on now

- What is the share now?

- Now there is about 33%. Naturally, any public authority in any city aspires to increase the proportion using public transport, so that they did  not load the street road with private transport. Therefore, with the improvement of service, purchase of comfortable buses, convenient schemes of their movements, and so on we will do this. People will understand that it is better to travel by public transport.  But we cannot make it compulsory. In evolutionary way people will understand that public transport is faster and  more convenient.

- Which indexes do you plan to achieve?

- As for our calculations with the introduction of the first LRT line - somewhere 40% in 2017.

- So what is next?

- It much depends on the  LRT stages. You know that the first phase - from the airport through the "Abu Dhabi Plaza" and to the new station, and when the LRT comes to the city, then, of course, will be a good progress.

- "City" is meant - the old part of the city?

- Yes, in the old part of the city.

- And when will it come to the old train station?

- It is planned. There are several stages:.. first - the airport, railway station, and the second - the individual routes from the station in the direction of South-East, then the third stage - towards Koktal in the direction of Shanghai, etc. - this is for the year 2025.

- What about the renovation of the bus fleet?

- 358 buses we bought last year. This year, other 200 buses will be purchased.

- How many buses are now available in the capital?

- Now, taking into account the acquisition of new buses (we are decommissioning the old buses that do not meet the requirements) 210 have been decommissioned. Thus, now there are 1050 buses.

- 1050 -  including shuttle buses?

- Yes.

- When will you fully refresh the depot?

- Full update is impossible, because if we immediately replace 1000 buses, we will have to decommission all those buses one day. They can work for 14 years officially. They must repay themselves for the 14 years.

- By the end of 2016. Will all the buses be "younger" than 14 years?

- Yes,  younger than 14 years will be somewhere in 2017. Last year we bought 358, 200 we are buying now, about 300 we will buy.

- 200 and 300 buses are planned to be purchased - will it be Iveco?

- So far, Iveco. Iveco will be produced in Kostanai region.

- For diesel fuel? Don’t you plan to transfer the bus depot into gas?

- Now they are working on diesel fuel. If the question with gas supply is resolved, then, of course, we can shift to gas.

- When will the electronic card for public transport be introduced in Astana?

- By the end of the first half year - in June this year. There will be electronic fare system.

- Do you take into account the experience of "Onay" in Almaty?

- Firstly, we had initially a slightly different approach. We adhere to this. Naturally, we will take into account the experience of the Kazakhstan and Russia, and Europe.

- Who will be engaged in the project - "Astana LRT”? Who will the money be paid to?

- In any case no pay in the budget. "Astana LRT” will work on this matter. Probably another company will be found which will regulate financing, not only of the LRT.

- When the electronic card payment in Astana will become mandatory? Or initially it will be in parallel with pay cash?

- Yes, the first time in parallel with it. It will be more convenient to pay electronically for the passengers. Cheaper, more convenient, easier.

- Have all the 82 warm bus stops been installed in the city?

- No. 27 have been installed for now. The second stage - 55 bus stops

-Will they be installed before the end of the year?

- I can not say for sure. If funding is found, they will be installed.

- Thank you for the interview!

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