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Moscow Considers New Downtown Metro Stations to Fight Traffic

Authorities hope adding a new metro station will help alleviate over-crowding. Dmitry Abramov

Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said Monday that he was considering opening new metro stations on existing lines in central Moscow to ease the city's overloaded transportation infrastructure.

Sobyanin said that the greater the number of downtown metro stations, the better it would be for passengers.

"We are studying the situation," Sobyanin told reporters.

"But we must understand that this will cost a lot of money," he added, Interfax reported. "We are considering how effective it would be."

The mayor did not provide any figures on new stations, but he said he has quadrupled the amount of money earmarked for the metro from 25 billion rubles in 2010 to 100 billion rubles this year.

Sobyanin took office in late 2010 with a promise to tackle the capital's notorious traffic jams. He started by clearing kiosks from the sidewalks of busy districts and later took steps toward setting aside street lanes for public transportation only. Earlier this month, City Hall announced measures to target illegally parked cars — a major source of snarled traffic — by introducing paid parking in the city center and renewing its efforts to catch and fine drivers who park in the wrong places.

Sobyanin said Monday that he believed that the development of the metro held the key to resolving Moscow's transportation problems.

The Moscow metro is the second heaviest used in the world, after Tokyo, and is itself bursting at the seams during rush-hour traffic.

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