Moscow: Traffic jam vice world champion

In the first part of our blog series on the World Cup in Russia, we dedicate ourselves to the host country Russia: How does the capital Moscow escape the tight grip of the city jam?

Before Toni Kroos, Christiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi & Co. get down to business in the football stadiums in Russia, we will look at the mobility concepts of various cities and countries during the World Cup. What makes them special? How far has the development of smart mobility solutions progressed there? Is there anything we can learn from?

1. Moscow Is Vice World Champion In Traffic Jams

And what did you do this long weekend? Oh, I was stuck in traffic - nonstop.

That sounds exaggerated, but a study by traffic data provider Inrix actually showed that the average Moscow driver spent 91 hours in traffic jams in 2017. That's almost four full days - or almost all 64 matches of the World Cup. To put it even more painfully: two weekends. This is only surpassed by Los Angeles, with over 100 hours. No wonder that the citizens of the city have long since become active in the fight against traffic jams.

2. Hitchhikers Guide To Moscow

It is one of the oldest and simplest ways to use vehicles efficiently on the road, yet in many places it is rather unusual: hitchhiking. In Moscow, however, it is not uncommon for the inhabitants to hold up their thumbs on the roadside and thus set an example against the traffic chaos. Private people occupy empty spaces in their cars and earn a little extra money, because it is customary to negotiate the price for the journey at the start of the journey. Although tourists in particular are warned not to wander the streets of Moscow alone at night, the locals would hitchhike more often, especially at late hours.

3. Palaces In The Underground

Many large cities have that one subway station, which seems to have a season ticket for the profiles of ambitious Instagrammers. A real Muscovite may only cast a jaded smile when the people of Hamburg get excited over the Instagram qualities of the Hafencity station. Moscow is known for its spectacular subway stations. Equipped with marble and granite, golden applications and architectural finesse, stations such as Kosmolskaya and Mayakovskaya are true underground palaces. But the Moscow Metro not only offers good looks for its 2.4 billion passengers a year. During rush hours, the trains run almost every minute, and free WIFI has been available in all trains since 2014.

4. Nationwide Electric Buses

We tend to think directly of modern cars like our MOIA+6 when it comes to electric mobility. E-Mobility has been used in a somewhat different way by the masses in Moscow for some time now: So called trolleybuses have been driving through the Russian capital since 1933. The city now offers the world's largest network. However, the network is not being expanded, it is rather declining. Flexible on-demand mobility is not possible with an overhead line. However the trolleybus is still a popular choice, especially in the centre of Moscow.

5. The infamous Marshrutka

The Russian collection taxis are rough. The Marshrutka are minibuses that take a fixed route through the city. They take passengers with them on call and let them out again. The minibuses are usually heavily overcrowded, so that passengers also ride in a standing position. The drivers of the Marshrutka are notorious for their reckless driving. All in all, the small buses, operated by private entrepreneurs, are quite an adventure. Inside the buses, chaos reigns. Those who want to get out have to be very loud and decisive in order not to be overheard or simply ignored. It is no coincidence, that since 2016 there have been strong regulations for the Marshrutka, which hardly exist in their original form anymore.