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Mayor, Trying to Persuade Residents to Use Public Transport, Arrives to Work 2 Hours Late

Moskva News Agency

He tried to channel Michael Bloomberg; instead he came out looking like Michael Scott.

Mikhail Isayev, the mayor of the snow-laden city of Saratov on the banks of the Volga River, has tried to persuade residents to ditch their cars in favor of public transport to reduce paralyzing traffic.

“Yes, Mikhail Alexandrovich [Isayev] took more than two hours to get to work … and was a bit late for the briefing,” a city hall spokeswoman told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency Wednesday.

Later that day Isayev reproached local district heads for their “poor organization” of snow-clearing work.

Isayev also ordered his subordinates to ride the bus with him and gave a 10-day deadline for municipal services to finish clearing the snow.

On Thursday, Isayev declared that he will continue riding the bus to work “from every remote neighborhood” to test the roads local residents say are the most clogged.

“I will ride the public transport with the townspeople to experience the difficult sections and assess traffic capacity,” the populist leader said.

Residents of Saratov are no strangers to heavy snowfall, some of whom were filmed pushing a public bus stuck in snow last year.

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