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Heaviest Traffic in September Registered on Car-Free Day in Moscow

City authorities appealed to drivers to take public transport, walk or cycle to work.

Moscow joined other cities around the globe in celebrating World Car-Free Day on Tuesday — and recorded the heaviest morning rush hour seen this month, the Yandex Probki traffic monitoring service reported on Twitter.

Ten thousand Muscovites had been expected to leave their cars at home, the M24 news website reported Tuesday. City authorities appealed to drivers to take public transport, walk or cycle to work.

The city's transport department closed its staff car parks for the day, the Ekho Moskvy radio station reported.

The department said in an online statement that free fruit, chocolate, bottles of water and souvenirs would be offered at various spots around the city to those who opted to cycle to work.

City bike rental rates were also lowered for Car-Free Day: from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Muscovites could enjoy 60 free minutes instead of 30, and the daily flat rate was decreased from 150 rubles ($2.30) to 100 rubles ($1.50), the transport department said.

Moscow has celebrated Car-Free Day since 2008 with the aim of convincing Muscovites that getting around the city is possible and convenient even without a car, the statement said.

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