A paradox situation can be observed in Minsk.
Cars became the cheapest and fastest means of transport in Minsk. More than a half (51%) of trips in Minsk are made in cars. The active use of cars increases traffic density and the number of traffic jams, Yezhednevnik writes.
Experts are also concerned about the ecological situation in the Belarusian capital: according to the Minsk city environmental committee, transport accounts for 85% of air pollution (160,000 tonnes).
Preferring public transport to cars can solve or ease many problems, so many experts propose the measures that will make the life of Minsk car owners more difficult.
Yury Vazhnik, the director of the Belarusian Association of Transport Experts and Surveyors, thinks stricter conditions for car owners should be created to increase the popularity of public transport.
“We are interested in charges for car owners for entering the city centre. Pay 20,000 rubles for a ride along Independence Avenue,” Vazhnik said at the conference Transport in the City: Ecological and Economic Aspects. “Many people will think about using public transport instead of a car.”
The experts did not say if Minsk public transport was ready for a sharp increase in passengers.
As of now, private cars remain the most effective means of transport in Minsk. They are faster than public transport and cheaper than taxis. The average speed of a ride on public transport (a person's distance from door to door including the distance one goes on foot) is 20km/h, while that in a car is more than 35km/h.
Minsk has 800,000 cars registered for almost 2 million people, which is one car per two adults.