A project for developing light railway in the Russian city of Omsk as an alternative to the uncompleted metro line is likely to be of interest to foreign investors, said Eduard Safronov, a professor at Siberian State Automobile and Highway Institute.
“Historically, we (Russia) have been developing and maintaining buses in higher volumes than we should according to standards. 75% of passengers were being transported by bus, which is very bad in terms of the environment”, Mr. Safronov said at a roundtable on the development of electrical means of transportation in Omsk, Interfax news agency reports on August 9.
He mentioned a research conducted four years ago in Omsk with the assistance of the American expert Vukan Vuchic. Based on the results, a concept for the light railway was built up, which envisaged the construction of 80 kilometers of light rail lines with the use of the infrastructure of the uncompleted metro line. According to Safronov, in 2014, building a 7-kilometer metro line was estimated at 24 billion rubles, whereas a project for the light railway — 10 billion rubles for three years.
Mr. Safronov has noted that representatives from a Czech company contacted him several times over the past two years, saying that they were willing to finance the construction of a light railway in Omsk. In his opinion, the work should start with modernizing a master layout plan and assessing the available infrastructure. The transport system development will favorably affect the investment attractiveness of the Omsk region, Mr. Safronov stressed.