An International Symposium on "How to ensure the sustainable development of transport systems" was held at NIIAT with the working title "Vadim invites friends." Friends came from all over the world - leading scientists in the field of sustainable development of transport systems:
- Professor Anthony May, Professor Emeritus of the Institute of Transportation Studies, University of Leeds, President of the World Conference on Transport Research Society (WCTRS), United Kingdom
- Mr Michael Walsh, Founder and Honorary President of the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), an international expert, USA
- Mr Robert Thaler, Head of the Department of Transport, mobility, urban settlements and the noise of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Environment and Water Management of Austria, President of the Bureau of the Steering Committee of the Transport, Health and Environment Pan-European Programme (PEP), Austria
- Mr A. Novikov, Deputy Director of the State Enterprise "GosavtotransNIIproekt", Ph.D., Kiev, Ukraine
- Professor Karel Pospisil, General Director of the Transportation Research Centre, Czech Republic
As well as the Russian practitioners and specialists in the field of transport policy, environment and ecology:
- Mr. V. Lugovenko, Head of the Motor Transport Management Department of the RF Ministry of Transportation
- Professor S. Zhankaziev, Ph.D., Head of the Department MADI-STU
- Mr A. Nedre, Ph.D., General Director of JSC "Scientific Research Institute of Atmospheric Air"
- Mrs P. Zaharova, Director of GPBU "Mosekomonitoring"
Symposium participants were members of the regional governments and administrations, companies and corporations operating in a field of "friendly" public transport. They did not let the speakers off the stage, as the experience of the western colleagues was incredibly interesting for the Russians and, most importantly, they were interested in the answer to the question "Is it possible to apply similar policies in Russia?'. After all, the stability of the transport system is determined by its ability to provide quality transportation services to society while minimizing the negative impacts on health and the environment. Vadim Donchenko in his report talked about the problems of urban transport systems in the Russian Federation and the possibilities of their solutions. According to Mr Donchenko, everything in our country is moving in circles: - Construction of new roads - Increasing the capacity of the street-road network - Improving traffic conditions - Increasing the advantages of private vehicles – Increased usage of private vehicles (induced mobility) - Congestion on street-road network - Construction of new roads. Thus, one of the solutions will be increasing the attractiveness of public transport.
Everyone was very interested in the report of Professor Anthony May. He believes that sustainable development is based on 6 main principles – land-use, infrastructure, management, information, knowledge, pricing. An integrated approach to the land development, infrastructure development, public awareness and, of course, increase in taxes on the vehicles will help urban citizens to stop using cars. Scary figures were cited by Mr May - 100,000 deaths in Europe each year are directly related to the environmental threat, 13,000 people a year die on Europe's roads in accidents (for comparison - in Russia 25,695 people, including in Moscow - 740 people (ITAR-TASS for 2012)); and it is expected that 60% of the population will be obese due to sedentary lifestyles by year 2050.
Robert Thaler also spoke about the use of alternative vehicles and fuels, an attractive railway and urban public transport networks, walking and cycling routes. Bicycles are used throughout the year in Austria. The Department of Transport, mobility, urban settlements and the noise of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Environment and Water Management of Austria subsidises companies for participating in the programs aimed at reducing pollution in the atmosphere. Every year about 10 million euros is allocated for this cause. A single ticket for the passenger transport which cost only 1 euro per day was introduced as a part of experiment in Vienna. The result was positive. Moreover, the public transport is being electrified and transferred to compressed gas or biofuels.
Michael Walsh’s report was informative for colleagues - environmentalists. His fundamental research on reducing the negative impact of transport on the environment and human health by improving the environmental performance of used vehicles and fuels have been the subject of a long discussion between Andrew Nedre of Scientific-Research Institute "Atmosphere" and Polina Zakharova of "Mosekomonitoring." The environmental situation in Moscow and St. Petersburg is also far from ideal. Mr Walsh said that he personally observed some vehicles on Moscow roads, which should be suspended from use to improve the environment.
The symposium was held as an open dialogue. All participants were able to ask their questions and share experience in implementing sustainable transport policy in the region.
The Symposium resulted in signing an agreement on cooperation between JSC "NIIAT" and SRI "Atmosphere". Foreign colleagues have expressed a desire to meet regularly at such conferences and exchange experience.