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Paid Parking Reduces Congestion by 25%

The number of cars entering Moscow's paid parking zone has dropped by 25 percent, following the introduction of new rules at the start of the month aimed at combating traffic congestion in the capital, a news report said Tuesday.

Car owners have paid more than 5 million rubles ($154, 000) in total for parking, at a rate of 50 rubles per hour, to park their cars within the limits of the Boulevard Ring since the new rules came into force on June 1, Interfax reported.

"There has been a 25 percent decrease in the number of cars that we caught on video crossing the Boulevard Ring from other parts of the city," said Igor Kuznetsov, head of the Moscow Parking Space administration.

All 145 parking meters in downtown Moscow are working properly and any defects are corrected within two hours using a remote-control system, Kuznetsov added.

He also said that the vast majority of people were obeying the new parking rules, and that parking tickets will only be issued if the offender really deserves it, and not just for the sake of it.

"If the offender is parked in a zone where there are no traffic wardens on patrol, the road markings are unclear, or the parking meter is not working properly, then a parking ticket won't be written," Kuznetsov said.

Parking fees can be paid via text message and mobile apps, City Hall said earlier.

Fees can also be paid using so called "scratch cards" — magnetic cards with a code covered with a protective layer. They can be purchased in the Svyaznoi and Bosco stores, Rospechat kiosks and Russian Post offices.

From August parking may also be paid through Kiwi and Elecsnet terminals.

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