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Goodbye, Khrushchevki

Soviet Housing in Post-Soviet Europe

Moscow Metro is the world’s second most heavily used rapid transit system after Tokyo‘s twin subway, with nearly 9 million people using the subway everyday. The key to its widescale use is a combination of the still relatively low levels of car ownership in Moscow (which has been going up steadily in the last decade), and the system’s speed and efficiency.

In my experience, during rush hours the trains run once a minute, and during off-peak I have never experienced a wait of more than 5 minutes. Compare this with New York City MTA, which runs a maximum of one train every four minutes, even during rush hour, which it attributes to safety reasons and the maximum capacity of the lines.

Constructed beginning in 1935, the Moscow Metro was the first subway in the Soviet Union, and was a major factor in the location of the suburban Microrayons. Because of the subway, the large residential areas could be located away from the city center where it was easier to build, but still provide a way for the residents to get to work.

Despite the widescale use and efficiency of the Metro system, the traffic problems on Moscow’s highways are some of the worst in the world.

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