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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Metro Gets Air Conditioned Cars

MTMetro drivers giving the new Rusich train cars a test run on the circle line Thursday. Service starts Friday.

Train cars with air conditioning and extra doors will start operating on the circle line of the Moscow metro on Friday in an upgrade made at passengers’ request, metro chief Dmitry Gayev said.

The new Rusich train cars will be the first to offer air conditioning in the city’s metro, Gayev said Thursday at a ceremony where he showed off the cars.

“The modernized Rusich has a cabin climate control system that was made at the wishes of the passengers,” Gayev said, Interfax reported.

A version of the Rusich without air conditioning already operates on the dark-blue Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya line.

He said each train would have 56 sliding doors instead of the current 40 to allow passengers to board and disembark more quickly. The doors themselves are touch-sensitive so that they will not slam shut onto passengers’ arms and legs and possibly injure them.

The new cars also are equipped with a video surveillance system, bigger windows and an “improved cabin layout,” Gayev said.

The cars will enter serial production in August, allowing the metro to gradually replace all its trains on the Koltsevaya line, he said.

While the changes have been tailored to passengers’ wishes, people hoping for female-only train cars or restrooms and trash canisters in the metro will have to wait.

Beijing’s metro recently proposed introducing female-only cars to prevent the sexual harassment of women, but the Moscow metro has no plans to follow suit, even though the problem is apparently widespread.

“We have never considered such a question,” metro spokesman Pavel Sukharnikov told RIA-Novosti earlier this month.

He said no female passengers had filed complaints about harassment.

Up to 40 percent of female passengers in the Moscow metro have been subjected to sexual harassment, RIA-Novosti reported, citing psychologists who said public transportation provides a perfect environment for harassment: throngs of people, availability and an opportunity to avoid punishment.

Gayev discouraged the idea of an exclusive metro car at an earlier news conference where he dismissed a proposal to introduce VIP cars.

“The metro is an open system of transportation where all people are equal, just like they are in a banya,” Gayev said, RIA-Novosti reported.

Gayev also said at the news conference there were no plans to offer bathrooms or garbage cans in the metro.