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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Moscow Railroad Told to Remove Turnstiles

The Moscow Railroad is to remove the turnstiles at the exits of all the city's railroad platforms or court bailiffs may do it for them.

The Moscow City Court ruled last month that the turnstiles violate federal legislation and must be removed. The suit was brought by the transport department of the Moscow prosecutor's office.

But the Moscow Railroad, which runs the suburban trains, has taken no action so far, Svetlana Petrenko, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office, said by telephone Tuesday.

"The Moscow prosecutor's office will have to enforce the ruling," Petrenko said.

The Meshansky intermunicipal court had ruled in January in favor of the prosecutor's office, but the Moscow Railroad appealed to the city court.

Passengers are expected to pay for a train ride before entering the platform and then place their ticket in the turnstile after exiting at their destination.

According to federal law on railroads, however, people are considered passengers only while riding the train and cease being passengers when they exit. Thus, they should not have to insert the tickets at the turnstiles.

The prosecutor's office will ask court bailiffs to intervene next week if the exit turnstiles are not removed, Peterenko said, adding that the bailiffs will go to the stations themselves to make sure turnstiles are not used at the exits.

"If there is that much pressure, [the bailiffs] will have no choice but to execute the law and stop the turnstiles," said a Moscow Railroad spokesman, who declined to be identified.

The Moscow Railroad is planning to appeal to the Supreme Court.

"No one is surprised when at the exit from a supermarket a security guard can check if the contents of a bag correspond to the sum on the check. No one would allow someone to eat in a cafe and leave without paying," the Moscow Railroad said in a statement. "But the railways can be used for free? It is theft of someone's labor."

The Moscow Railroad will have to hire inspectors to check passengers' tickets, the spokesman said.

"We wanted to use electronics, but we might have to use soldiers and will lose the important analysis of our passenger flows," he said.

The root of the problem is that technology has lagged behind legislation, the Moscow Railroad said.

The Moscow Railroad has asked authorities to make changes in the legislation, which is a long and difficult procedure, the spokesman said.

Railways Minister Gennady Fadeyev said Monday that the ministry plans to install turnstiles at all suburban stations in Moscow. After installing turnstiles at Belorusky Station, ticket payments grew 20 times, Fadeyev said, while at Yaroslavsky Station payments grew 30 times just two days after installation.