Results achieved by the end of 2018: 88 mln transactions, 600 thousand transponders, 5000 bicycle riders and much more
Since the summer period, the number of WHSD users preferring long-distance trips has significantly increased. Those routes are, for instance, Ring Road (South) - Ring Road (North), Ring Road (South) - “Scandinavia” and in the opposite direction. This is mainly due to the special discount introduced on the routes listed. In the end, in view of the high demand for the offer, it was decided to fix the discount as a base tariff "Transponder". This measure contributed to the partial redistribution of the load from the interchange of the WHSD and Bogatyrsky prospect to the interchange with the Ring Road (North). However, the discharge was compensated by the influx of traffic at the interchange with Bogatyrsky prospect. This transport hub remains the most popular on the Western High-speed Diameter, which is clearly demonstrated by the above popular routes. The capacity of the off-ramp is limited, including the ability of the adjacent road network to divert traffic coming from the highway to the densely populated Primorsky district.
An important event for the WHSD users in 2018 was the opening of sections of the Makarov Embankment and the Betancourt Bridge, which significantly improved the accessibility of the highway for motorists from Vasilyevsky Island, Petrogradskaya and adjacent areas. This factor also played a key role in the growth of traffic.
Summing up the results of 2018 from the point of view of an increase in the traffic flow, it should be noted that the WHSD is actively used by taxis. Travel on the highway, which allows to significantly reduce the time, and often the length of the path, is a profitable solution for both taxi drivers and passengers. It should be noted that many fleets of taxis have become transponder users, allowing their customers to get the toll road service at significantly lower costs in comparison with cash payments, the most customer-oriented companies do not charge their clients for trips on WHSD, as they use “Legkovoi 100” tariff option that provides unlimited trips on the highway.
In St. Petersburg, the car sharing service Yandex. Drive launched its work. The cars are also equipped with WHSD transponders, which make it possible to pass quickly and comfortably through the toll plazas.
More traffic - more transponders and Fast lanes
The growth of traffic flow does not affect the capacity of the toll plazas. This is possible due to the number of electronic contactless toll transactions.
With the help of onboard devices - the WHSD transponders - by the end of 2018, more than 83% of all trips on WHSD were paid via transponders. The number of transponders in use exceeded up to 600 thousand. More than 130 thousand devices were issued in 2018.
With the increase in the number of transponder users, the NCH continues its investment program in the sphere of the payment system development. The universal lanes, on which cashiers work and all types of payment are accepted, were replaced with fast lanes for transponders. Those lanes do not require a stop. During 2018, 5 additional fast lanes were launched.
For those users who have not yet equipped the vehicle with a transponder, new, convenient payment methods based on NFC technologies have also been implemented. In 2018, it became possible to pay for traveling through the WHSD via telephones, smart watches, contactless credit cards, and so on.
170 thousand square meters of new asphalt and traffic control cameras
The high demand of the highway determines the special responsibility of the operational services. The work of these units continues not only in the difficult weather conditions, when the main activity is to clean the roadway and snow removal, but also in the spring-summer-autumn season, when the tasks of repairing and maintaining the road and road structures are solved.
For example, during the summer season of 2018 more than 170 thousand square meters of asphalt were laid. To make it easier to imagine this volume - this is a highway lane of almost 50 kilometers long. The works were carried out as part of preventing the occurrence of rutting of WHSD, mainly in the Southern and Northern sections, which have been in operation for several years. In the course of these works, advanced materials were used, including asphalt mixes with the addition of rubber, which ensured a reduction in the noise level from traffic and improved operational properties of the coating.
We note the importance of not only the restoration of the roadway and facilities, but also the achievement of an adequate period of overhaul intervals. An important component of this process is drivers' compliance with the speed limit and weight and size characteristics of vehicles. In order to minimize violations of the Rules of the road at the WHSD, at the end of 2018, the latest video recording complexes were installed by Semikon, the recognized leader in the development of such equipment. The cameras track speed violations, which is important, not only at the measurement point, but also in the interval between the two installation points of the complex. Violations of rows of the movement of freight transport, violations of marking requirements and so on fall into the camera lens. We believe this innovation will become an important element of the road safety system and, more importantly, road safety and a high level of user comfort.
As part of the winter cleaning in the ongoing season 2018 - 2019 more than 52 thousand cubic meters of snow have already been removed from the highway. In accordance with the forecasts of meteorologists, this value may increase significantly. For comparison, for the entire winter season of 2017–2018, 16750 cubic meters were exported from the WHSD. Prompt response and quality maintenance of the road, which was noted by many users, are facilitated by the ZSD Southern Operational Base, introduced in 2018, which allows the company to perform timely maintenance of a vehicle fleet which numbers more than 120 units of machinery.
WHSD - not only for cars
In 2018, for the first time in history, an unprecedented event took place in St. Petresburg – the sports Festival was held on WHSD. It was carried out on weekend and during the hours of minimum traffic in order to minimize the inconvenience for the drivers. Almost a thousand runners, five thousand cyclists and up to 10 thousand fans, who came to support amateur athletes, became participants of the Festival. 98% of positive reviews in social networks, the complete exhaustion of quotas (restrictions were related to security issues) in the first two days of registration, demonstrated the relevance of the event, during which all citizens, not only motorists, were able to evaluate the views of the new St. Petersburg and enjoy the healthy way of life together.
Motorcyclists, who came from more than 30 countries to the annual St. Petersburg festival St. Petersburg Harley Days, were the first to appreciate the new look of the city and the most technically complex and beautiful section of the highway.
Remembering the year 2018, one cannot help but dwell on such an event as the holding of the World Cup in Russia. St. Petersburg received seven matches of the global sports event, and the WHSD provided dozens of passages for the teams of the participating teams, delegations and Championship guests, which made it possible to get to the stadium as quickly as possible without complicating the traffic situation in the central part of the city.
We are sure that in 2019, even more cyclists, runners, and most importantly, motorists will be able to save time thanks to safe and comfortable trips around the Western High-Speed Diameter.