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Thread: Moscow transport reforms

  1. #1
    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
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    Moscow transport reforms

    The yellow (or white, also often) mini bus "marshrutka" taxis

    have been a staple of Moscow's streets for many years, I believe the first ones appeared back in the 80s, when Soviet Union was still around, during the Perestroika.

    They would travel on specific routes, like the municipal buses, but smaller, and privately owned.

    In recent years, there were big problems with them.

    For one, they would get terribly overcrowded


    The drivers were never of good quality either, many would be migrants from Central Asia

    for whom this is their 3rd job, he was maybe on an 12 hour shift at a construction site or in some factory all day and evening before, and then jumps behind that wheel after 3 hours of sleep, barely able to keep his eyes open, concentrating like a madman! They can't help it, of course, they need the money, many have wives and kids to support, back home in Tajikistan or Uzbekistan. And the marshrutka company bosses hire them because they work for meager, near-slave wages without complaint (same why construction, or municipal maintenance firms also import them). Many of the migrants are also not familiar with local traffic rules, and tend to speed and pass other vehicles crazily, because they are used to driving like that back home, in the wild open steppes and deserts lol

    The Slavic/white drivers tend to be tattoo-covered ex-convicts who can't get any other decent job

    Many would be alcoholics or even drug addicts...

    The whole industry was now controlled by organized crime, specifically, a powerful syndicate said to be made up of old school Georgian mobsters who use Russian ex-military men as their enforcement muscle. I recall one TV show where a journalist decided to investigate the "marshrutka mafia" in Moscow, and was questioning drivers at a major railway terminal (many of which serve as hubs for these guys), when a bunch of these tough looking men in leather jackets, shaved heads, big muscles, chains on necks, typical gangsters, show up, in a black SUV, tell him they are "security service" for the marshrutka company, and that if he keeps bothering their people, he will have big problems. Threatened him right on camera, which wasn't hidden or anything. They didn't give a shit.

    So, all in all, you get horrific crashes involving marshrutkas. People die. Lots of people.

    And, in general, it was just a cesspool of an industry.

    Authorities obviously had to do something.

    Last year, private marshrutkas were officially outlawed.

    From now on, only blue, mostly Iveco, mini buses controlled by the municipal government, are legal

    The regular municipal buses are also blue now, used to be green, now buses and marshrutkas are all blue.

    The Iveco buses, btw, while under the Italian license, are produced in Russia, in Nizhny Novgorod; they will even have special ramps for access by disabled passengers


    Passengers are also now able to pay for their ride by tapping their regular transit pass or social card (for those who have subsidized travel benefits, such as military veterans, pensioners, students, and parents of large families) to the special device

    Before, it was all cash only, with passengers gradually passing their cash from one another to the front of the vehicle, till it made its way to the driver or conductor. It was surprisingly honest too, one never heard of anyone on the marshrutka pocketing someone else's money this way. This is where Russians showed their honorable side lol But now, its all easier.

    Plus, professional drivers, and cameras in every vehicle, monitoring them and all that goes on in there, constantly


    However... This is Moscow. This is Russia lol

    Of course the old school marshrutkas, illegal or not, ain't going anywhere haha

    The traffic police get paid off by the mafia who control these things; and here, for example, a nice fellow from Central Asia beckons people to his "shaitan car" (as those marshrutkas are nicknamed for their crazy, devilish, hence shaitan, Muslim drivers haha), right next to a legitimate blue bus

    lol

    Life goes on, as it always does...

  2. #2
    Junior Member RedCloud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Man View Post
    The yellow (or white, also often) mini bus "marshrutka" taxis

    have been a staple of Moscow's streets for many years, I believe the first ones appeared back in the 80s, when Soviet Union was still around, during the Perestroika.

    They would travel on specific routes, like the municipal buses, but smaller, and privately owned.

    In recent years, there were big problems with them.

    For one, they would get terribly overcrowded


    The drivers were never of good quality either, many would be migrants from Central Asia

    for whom this is their 3rd job, he was maybe on an 12 hour shift at a construction site or in some factory all day and evening before, and then jumps behind that wheel after 3 hours of sleep, barely able to keep his eyes open, concentrating like a madman! They can't help it, of course, they need the money, many have wives and kids to support, back home in Tajikistan or Uzbekistan. And the marshrutka company bosses hire them because they work for meager, near-slave wages without complaint (same why construction, or municipal maintenance firms also import them). Many of the migrants are also not familiar with local traffic rules, and tend to speed and pass other vehicles crazily, because they are used to driving like that back home, in the wild open steppes and deserts lol

    The Slavic/white drivers tend to be tattoo-covered ex-convicts who can't get any other decent job

    Many would be alcoholics or even drug addicts...

    The whole industry was now controlled by organized crime, specifically, a powerful syndicate said to be made up of old school Georgian mobsters who use Russian ex-military men as their enforcement muscle. I recall one TV show where a journalist decided to investigate the "marshrutka mafia" in Moscow, and was questioning drivers at a major railway terminal (many of which serve as hubs for these guys), when a bunch of these tough looking men in leather jackets, shaved heads, big muscles, chains on necks, typical gangsters, show up, in a black SUV, tell him they are "security service" for the marshrutka company, and that if he keeps bothering their people, he will have big problems. Threatened him right on camera, which wasn't hidden or anything. They didn't give a shit.

    So, all in all, you get horrific crashes involving marshrutkas. People die. Lots of people.

    And, in general, it was just a cesspool of an industry.

    Authorities obviously had to do something.

    Last year, private marshrutkas were officially outlawed.

    From now on, only blue, mostly Iveco, mini buses controlled by the municipal government, are legal

    The regular municipal buses are also blue now, used to be green, now buses and marshrutkas are all blue.

    The Iveco buses, btw, while under the Italian license, are produced in Russia, in Nizhny Novgorod; they will even have special ramps for access by disabled passengers


    Passengers are also now able to pay for their ride by tapping their regular transit pass or social card (for those who have subsidized travel benefits, such as military veterans, pensioners, students, and parents of large families) to the special device

    Before, it was all cash only, with passengers gradually passing their cash from one another to the front of the vehicle, till it made its way to the driver or conductor. It was surprisingly honest too, one never heard of anyone on the marshrutka pocketing someone else's money this way. This is where Russians showed their honorable side lol But now, its all easier.

    Plus, professional drivers, and cameras in every vehicle, monitoring them and all that goes on in there, constantly


    However... This is Moscow. This is Russia lol

    Of course the old school marshrutkas, illegal or not, ain't going anywhere haha

    The traffic police get paid off by the mafia who control these things; and here, for example, a nice fellow from Central Asia beckons people to his "shaitan car" (as those marshrutkas are nicknamed for their crazy, devilish, hence shaitan, Muslim drivers haha), right next to a legitimate blue bus

    lol

    Life goes on, as it always does...

    Thanks, The Man. Enjoy your posts (as I've previously stated).
    Thanks from The Man

  3. #3
    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
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    Toronto
    Quote Originally Posted by RedCloud View Post
    Thanks, The Man. Enjoy your posts (as I've previously stated).
    My pleasure

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