Underground transport must be a part of the transport system

Scientific approaches to the formation of the transport system and necessity of underground space use for urban transport infrastructure development were discussed with Oleg BELYJ, Joint Scientific Board for interdisciplinary transport systems Chairman and Saint Petersburg Research Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences Deputy Chairman in his interview for Undergroundexpert.info.   

Joint Scientific Board for interdisciplinary transport systems Chairman,  Saint Petersburg Research Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences Deputy Chairman  Oleg Belyj (source:www.spp.spb.ru) 

- Oleg Viktorovich, what principles do shape the transport system development?

The transport system is a complex structure built on the principle of delivering as one and interoperability of different kind of transport.

It must be clear that the transport vehicles do not stand on their own but exist in the system of transport infrastructure and transportation.

Also each mode of transport develops and has its own system science, engineering background, purpose, history and perspective.

For example, for the high speed we use air transport, for environmental and safety transportation we choose rail roads, we use water transport for shipping, sea and river transportation, for carrying passengers door-to-door we use vehicular transport.

And effectiveness of the main goal, transportation door-to-door in time despite of the distance, can be reached only through combination of all these forms of transportation.  

The building of the integrated transport system should be guided by different transport systems cooperating without competing. In this case the economic impact is reached though optimization of use of all modes of transport.

- Please name the factors limiting the development of the transport infrastructure at present, in your opinion.

First of all, the absence of the systematic approach and good management of the transport process.

The transport system is a comprehensive multilevel structure.

Considering the urban transport system we should take into account the way it integrates into the regional transport system, and also how regional transport system integrates into the transport system of the country.

The good management of every process is the most important task.  If we organize the process well, we have good economic impact as a result.

Securing management of transport process is not less important. Opinion of the Russian scientists must be heard, and transport is the only sector having clear development strategy and the single management entity today – the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation.   

Traffic pressure indicates the size of the city (source: www.autonews.ru)

-  In economic terms, how reasonable is it to subsidize the transport, for example, in case of the passenger transportation?

Subsidizing transport is not only Russian but also a common global practice.

The transport systems provide the communication possibilities and economic development rather than earning money.

Why do European countries aim to minimize the transport expenses? Because the trade, industrial and social areas may not develop without it. The State should consider this factor.

- How may the fundamental science facilitate transport infrastructure development?

The challenge for scientists is to build the scientific base for the transport infrastructure development process.

The Joint Scientific Board for multidisciplinary issues of the transport systems was established for its implementation in the Saint Petersburg Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Science.

The different transport modes specialists and specialists in related areas, including medicine and chemistry and even the Botanic institute representatives joined the Board.

At a first sight it seems the Botanic Institute is not relevant to the transport development.

But it appears the connection is quite direct, since the Institute explores reaction of soil to the different kinds of the chemical and physical impacts, which are results of the construction and maintenance of the transport routes.

As I have already said, the transport system development is a complicated task requiring a lot of scientific evaluations. The solution should be found on the base of multi-criteria models instead of only empirical methods.

- Is the transport system development in underground space possible?

Absolutely! The underground space is the only area developing with the delay. We reached cosmos while using air, we explore the depth of the sea and we actively use the surface of the ground. But we do not use the underground space in full. The world evolved significantly in this direction, while we have to make up for lost time.

The underground transport should be the part of the transport system and have its niche.

Without doubt, the underground space means special conditions for transport system functioning, but thankfully science made real today many things which were impossible yesterday.

For the first time in Saint Petersburg the second exit of the Sportivnaya metro station equipped with the travelators

- What is the role of the metro in the underground transport system?

The metro is the fundamental base. It is a systemically important segment of the transport infrastructure.  

Moreover, taking into consideration the expansion of the metro system, it is necessary developing the general model of the underground space use, including the elements of the transport system as well as the objects of industrial, commercial and social infrastructures.  

In the field of the underground construction it is important to establish some center, gathering the full information on the possibilities of the comprehensive underground space use.

- Oleg Viktorovich, the ACUUS World Conference is about to start in Saint Petersburg.  What perspective will it bring Russian specialists?

The conference will let us make one more step to the comprehending the importance of the transport system development in the underground space.

Unfortunately, we are far from the leaders in this area. At the same time, we are really confident in the fundamental science and our city and country are scientifically strong.

It is useful to compare our exploratory work with other countries practical results. We lack experience, but we have understanding how to use the underground space.  

Oleg Belyj (left) at the Committee for underground space use of the National Association of Builders and JSC Metrostroy general director Vadim Alexandrov meeting

Saint Petersburg is the cultural center famous across the globe for its unique architecture. Today we found ourselves at the critical border.

The city suffocates in its transport situation. Taking into consideration the importance of the historic center preservation and urban development we admit that the most important tool for solving the issues is the comprehensive underground space use.

Additional materials on the topic:

The architectural form and signature features of the Russian metro systems (read more)

St Petersburg lacks money, but has resources and capacity (read more)