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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Turnstiles Placed in Every Bus

MTAll 5,000 buses, 1,600 trolleys and 860 trams now have electronic turnstiles.
Electronic turnstiles have been installed in every tram, trolley and bus in the city, completing a five-year overhaul of the aboveground transportation system, City Hall said Wednesday.

The overhaul aims to slash the high number of fare dodgers.

The last of the city's 5,000 buses, 1,600 trolleys and 860 trams have been equipped with turnstiles in recent weeks, said Ivan Fedorenko, a spokesman for City Hall's transportation committee.

City buses carry 8 million passengers every day; trolleys, 2.7 million; and trams, 1.8 million, Fedorenko said. The transportation committee, known as Mosgortrans, oversaw the overhaul.

City Hall declared war on fare-dodgers in 2001, when five buses in Zelenograd began operating with turnstiles.

The electronic turnstile system eventually spread into other city precincts. By January of this year, Mosgortrans had equipped 80 percent of all its vehicles with turnstiles, raising revenue collection by 50 percent, Fedorenko said.

The turnstile system has also reduced overcrowding. Still, many passengers manage to evade the turnstiles by sneaking in through back doors intended only for letting passengers out. And the turnstiles have created an unanticipated problem: departure delays. Passengers complain that they have to wait up to 15 minutes to board buses now.

Fedorenko said Mosgortrans, aware of the delays the system has created, has opened a bus terminal featuring three external turnstiles -- eliminating the bottleneck created by the single turnstile found inside most buses. The terminal is located near Kaluzhskaya metro station. This summer, similar terminals will be opened near the northwestern Planernaya and Tushinskaya metro stations.

Fedorenko said Mosgortrans had no plans to remove the turnstiles -- for now. "This might become possible when our passengers are conscientious enough to pay their fares without going through turnstiles. I don't know when it might happen -- in a generation, maybe."