Urban Railway within the Linear Urban Structure: the Case Study of Perm, Russia

Lorens, Piotr and Maksimova, Svetlana and Saveleva, Ekaterina (2015) Urban Railway within the Linear Urban Structure: the Case Study of Perm, Russia. REAL CORP 2015. PLAN TOGETHER – RIGHT NOW – OVERALL. From Vision to Reality for Vibrant Cities and Regions. Proceedings of 20th International Conference on Urban Planning, Regional Development and Information Society. pp. 675-685.

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Perm is a city of slightly under one million inhabitants situated on the banks of the Kama River, in the European part of Russia. Being the 4th largest city in Russia in its area and only 13th in terms of population Perm stretches for over 80 kilometres along the river. Largely due to the city’s linearly extended urban structure a significant part of its population experience serious commuting problems. Most of the remote areas of the city are not well integrated into its central part and suffer from poor connectivity and accessibility. The latter is the feature shared by many other cities and other post-Soviet states, so the experience of Perm may also be instructive and useful to other cities. When it comes to improving the connectivity between different areas of the city, metro railway is one of the commonly used type of contemporary urban interventions. In 2004 the project “Urban Train” was launched in Perm with an ambitious aspiration to become “a “skeleton of the city transport system”. The new route was set up using the existing railway lines. It has a total length of 51 km and includes 22 stations on both sides of the Kama River. All other modes of transport, namely buses, trams and trolleybuses, were to be connected with this newly established route. The project was funded by the regional budget. Despite the fact that Urban train has obviously failed to become city’s principal mode it did provided several remote areas of the city with comparatively fast and convenient way to get to the city centre. In the years 2004-2008 the number of passengers was stable at around 1 mln people annually but starting from 2009, when several trains were removed from the timetable, the number of passengers dropped significantly every year reaching around 0,6 mln in 2013. After that the question of the abolition of funding for the project was raised. The service is still in place but the question of financing remains open. Nevertheless, the company managing the project has plans of further infrastructure investment. The paper analyses the ten years’ experience of Perm to develop its system of the urban train trying to reveal the reasons for its modest performance and decline in the passenger traffic. The authors show how the Urban Train fits within the city urban structure and evaluate the potential of the Urban Train to become a feasible solution to the problem of connecting the periphery with the city centre. Furthermore, the paper tries to answer the question whether the proposed further development of the project, including the formation of the transport hubs, is worth implementing in terms of increasing efficiency and volume of passenger traffic. Finally, the authors make some general conclusions on the feasibility of projects of this type in the context characteristic of post-socialist cities in Russia and beyond.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: linear, interurban train, mobility, public transport, city planning
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
Depositing User: REAL CORP Administrator
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2016 08:55
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2016 08:55
URI: http://repository.corp.at/id/eprint/68

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