In the capital of Ukraine, city of Kiev, there was held a long-awaited event – there was finally launched the speed tram. The launch date was transferred thrice. The very reconstruction has lasted for 3 years, though it supposed to be finished in maximum of 6 months.
Now only the first line is ready - the tram connects only 5 stations: "Ring Road", "Romain Rollan", "Gnat Yura", "Family Sosninykh", "Polytechnic" and "Starovokzalna". ("Polytechnic" station has neither sheds, nor turnstiles - only the platform). However, one can use "Express" for free now. This is done to citizens of Kiev to become accustomed fast to it. The fee of 1.5 UAH will be introduced from 25 October.
For the reconstruction of the line of speed tram there has been spent 420 million UAH. It turns out that 1 km of the line costs 42 million UAH of the budget. The entire tram depot will be renewed by March 1, 2011; there will be 33 new trams. Now there is the new tram with air-conditioning produced in St. Petersburg, 11 trams produced in Dnepropetrovsk and 7 the so-called repaired "Czechs", which were “patched up” in Kiev railroad car repair plant.
In addition to the promised № 3 (from “Starovokzalna” to “Ring Road”) there were launched routes № 1 (from “Mikhailovskaya Borshchagovka” to "Starovokzalna") and even № 2, which did not exist. It connects “Mikhailovskaya Borshchagovka” with "Ring Road". The route № 3 has old "Czech" cars put in order (the seats were replaced and interior finished with a new plastic) and new St. Petersburg and Dnepropetrovsk trams. The route № 1 still disposes the old jarring “Skoda” with painted walls and wooden seats, painted gray. In addition, all cars will be decorated with logos and symbols of the upcoming Euro 2012.
Though they have the same speed - 25 km/h (it was 18 km/h) and they cover the distance from end to end for 26-27 minutes. Taking into account the congestions and jams on the roads, the tram ride may be faster, especially as the authorities promised that the cars will go at a speed of 30-35 km/h in March. Now the speed is slower due to the reconstruction works.