Minsk Plans to Develop Trams Instead of Building Junctions

Uladzimir Pryshchepau, Head of the Section of Road Network and Transportation of "Minskhrada", presented the capital city transport development concept to participants of the seminar "New Tools for Integrated Urban and Transport Planning", explaining why preference should be given to rail transport. These are the provisions of the new 2030 Minsk general development plan.

Uladzimir Pryshchepau, Head of the Section of Road Network and Transportation of "Minskhrada" (Belarus)


"We need to assume that Minsk is the center of an emerging urban agglomeration. The development of its transport communications is influenced by the traffic of working population", explains Uladzimir Pryshchepau.

In recent years Minsk, like most cities of the former Soviet Union, has experienced problems with uncontrolled motorization. "We're talking about lack of parking spaces, street congestion and the decrease of public transport service quality", enumerates the expert.

Uladzimir Pryshchepau, Head of the Section of Road Network and Transportation of "Minskhrada" (Belarus)


"One of the ways to resolve the problem is to further develop the network of roads and junctions in order to increase their capacity. However, experience of industrialized countries disproves the effectiveness of this approach as it is one-sided. It goes against the interests of public transport passengers, cyclists and pedestrians", says Pryshchepau.

He explains that in the middle of the past century Europe and North America adapted their urban development plans to the needs of motorists. As a result, it made cities less livable and hurt the environment.

Later, public transportation priority development concepts were developed as an alternative. These are the global trends that Pryshchepau recommends to apply in Belarus.

Minskhrada representative emphasized the need to construct relief roads for major Minsk avenues. They should draw a part of the transit traffic and make life easier for public transport users, cyclists and pedestrians walking along the avenues, while the high-speed roads will effectively be given to motorists. As an example, Uladzimir Pryshchepau described a relief road for Nezalezhinasci avenue to be constructed from Rahachouskaya street to Minsk City Ring Road.

At the same time, spending funds on the construction of new junctions is unreasonable. In one of the previous versions, Minsk general development plan provided for 170 junctions. Now the number of junctions has been reduced to 100 (including the 50 junctions already in existence).


How does Minskhrada plan to further develop public transportation?


Priority should be given to rail transport: metro trains, high-speed trams and city trains, which is planned to fully incorporate into the city transport system.




Minsk residents are already familiar with the metro development plan: Minshrada is planning to create the fourth line along the 2nd transport ring. These plans are long-term, however, going until 2040s.


In what order will the metro stations be constructed? A part of the third line, from Yubileinaya Ploshcha to Kavalskaya Slabada,  is already under construction. Afterwards, the line will have three more stations to the south, up to Slutski Hastinets. This is a target for 2020.

Next, the northern stations of the third line will be constructed close to the district of Zialony Luh, and both direction of the second line will be extended, to Chyrvony Bor and to Shabany.

It is also planned to add Smalenskaya station to the first metro line.

The fourth ring metro line will be built in three stages: first, from Bangalor Square to Traktarny Zavod, next, from Traktarny Zavod to Mikhalova, and finally, Mikhalova and Bangalor Square will be connected via Pushkinskaya.

If all the projects are completed, Minsk metro will be able carry up to 420 million passengers each year, and metro will account for 40% of all public transport passenger traffic in the city.




Minsk, Belarus


Tram network development was ceased in the 1990s. As a result, this mode of transportation can currently carry only 4.5% of passengers, even though tram has a number of considerable advantages, explains Uladzimir Pryshchepau.

First, tram is the most capacious land mode of transportation (except for train). It can carry 7-12 thousand passengers during the rush hour.

Second, thanks to developments by Belarusian engineers, trams can be very quiet and have a comfortable low-floor design.


Similar to the metro development plan, Minskhrada has designed a year-to-year plan of tram network construction (see here).


It is planned to extend the existing blind alley in Kastrychnitskaya street into Seryabranka district.

Four areas of development are planned for 2020-2030, including extension of tram lines towards Navavilenskaya street, connecting Masherau avenue and the railway station along the First Ring Road, and building a tram line in the district of Sukharava.


It is also planned to take tram lines outside Minsk borders, towards Barauliany and Astrashytski Haradok.


In the long-term perspective (after 2030), Minskhrada plans to build tram lines in bedroom suburbs, as well as towards Minsk National Airport and the China-Belarus Industrial Park.


See photos.


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