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Monorail to Stay Open Till 2015

A monorail train arriving at the Telecenter station near the Ostankino television tower.

Moscow's above-ground monorail system will keep operating for at least three more years despite losing money, a city official said Monday, reversing an earlier decision to dismantle it.

City transportation chief Maxim Liksutov said the city will re-examine the issue in 2015 after a metro line set to intersect with the monorail line opens, RIA-Novosti reported.

Liksutov also said the city is forging ahead with plans to create a unified public transit ticket that will work for the metro and the monorail system, which he said could help boost the number of daily riders by 30 percent. The line is currently used by about 13,000 people a day.

In April, deputy transportation head Yevgeny Mikhailov announced that the system would likely be closed, saying the line was "designed poorly" and had underperformed.

Moscow's monorail, the only one in Russia, consists of six stations bridging the 5-kilometer gap between the VDNKh and Timiryazevskaya metro stations in the north of the city.

The line has been unprofitable since beginning operations in 2004 as a City Hall pet project. Construction on the line began in 2001 and cost $200 million to complete.

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