Moscow opened its 196th metro station on Monday, even as Mayor Sergei Sobyanin's ambitious 2.9 trillion ruble ($54 billion) transport plan comes up against the harsh new realities of Russia's worsening economic situation.
The Troparevo station becomes the next stop after the Yugo-Zapadnaya station on the southwest end of the metro's Red Line, and will serve more than 200,000 passengers, Sobyanin was quoted by the city's Moskva news agency as saying at the opening ceremony.
Some 70,000 residents live near the station in the neighborhoods of Tyoply Stan, Troparevo-Nikulina and Obruchevsky, according to business newspaper Vedomosti.
The Red Line will eventually be extended even further with the construction of the Rumyantsevo and Salaryevo stations, slated to open next year. The two planned stations are located in New Moscow and are part of the city's plan to tie the massive new territory, incorporated in 2012, more closely to the downtown.
The Moscow city government under Sobyanin has made improving transportation a top goal, with a 2.9 trillion ruble transport plan aiming to open up 78 new metro stations through 2020, in addition to expanding and repairing Moscow's vast road network.
But the plummeting value of the ruble currency, which has sunk 40 percent against the U.S. dollar since January, has hit some projects, especially more complex operations like metro construction, which requires imported equipment and materials.
In November, Chinese firms committed to building sections of the metro in New Moscow halted work, citing the ruble's volatile exchange rate.