On October 27 the Government of the Russian Federation introduced to the State Duma a draft law on regulation of legal relations connected with the transportation of passengers by non-surface transport. The document was prepared by the Ministry of transport under the instruction of the President and contains the basic concepts, goals and methods of State regulation for processes of functioning and development of non-surface transport.
Concept of non-surface transport
In the framework of the draft law, the non-surface transport is defined as “the technological complex including rolling stock of the non-surface transport and infrastructure of the non-surface transport providing transportation of passengers and hand luggage without crossing at the same level with motor-roads, railways, tramways, biking, pedestrian-cycling and pedestrian ways”. After the adoption of this law, its action will spread on metro, monorail transport, overhead cableways, funiculars and new modes of transport of the second level, such as SkyWay.
Necessity for such a law
According to the text of the draft law and the explanatory note to it, its objectives are:
- “the solution of transportation issues related to the accelerated rate of motorization in major Russian cities;
- redistribution of passenger traffic from personal vehicles to public transport;
- integration of the transport possibilities of different types of non-surface transport to arrange passenger traffic within settlements and agglomerations;
- provision of efficient and safe operation of non-surface transport, as well as its comprehensive development;
- increased affordability of transportation services by non-surface transport for population;
- improvement of national and municipal management in the field of non-surface transport”.
According to the authors of the draft law, the development of non-surface transport can contribute to “the improvement of the ecological situation (non-surface transport operates mostly on electric traction); increased transport affordability for population (due to coverage of areas with undeveloped or insufficiently developed motor-road infrastructure, as well as due to the speed, which may be higher than the maximum allowed within settlements for road transport); the development of the national industry (construction of infrastructure, manufacture of rolling stock), including that in innovative areas (reduction of noise, increased speed of movement, new construction technologies)”. In addition, the adoption of the draft law should raise the competitiveness of the non-surface passenger transport by the quality and cost of transport services.
SkyWay and the law: expert opinion
It is obvious that the adoption of this law has a direct relationship to the SkyWay. How can it influence the process of implementing the string transport into the transport infrastructure of the Russian Federation? The SkyWay information service asked about it and other associated circumstances a professional lawyer Artyom Kazakevich.
– Hello, Artyom. Please explain, will the adoption of the Federal law influence the course and nature of the certification procedure for SkyWay transport systems in Russia?
– This law does not contain any special provisions relating to the certification of products and services relating to non-surface transport. At the same time, the final and transitional provisions do not assume changes to the legal regulations concerning the certification procedure.
However, according to article 10 of the considered law technical operation of non-surface transport (except funiculars and cable ways) should be performed in accordance with the rules of technical operation of non-surface transport, approved by an authorized body of executive authority of a constituent entity of the Russian Federation. Technical operation of funiculars and cableways should be carried out in accordance with the Federal norms and rules in the field of industrial safety. Probably such rules will be approved after the adoption of the mentioned law.
Thus, at the moment there is no reason to talk about the simplification or complication of the certification procedure for non-surface transport in comparison with such procedures for other modes of transport. This statement is also based on the provisions of article 10, which reads that the standard operating rules for non-surface transport and the rules of technical operation of non-surface transport should meet the requirements stipulated in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation on technical regulation, on electric power industry, as well as regulatory legal acts of the Eurasian Economic Union, i.e. they should also comply with regulatory legal acts covering certification.
– From the legal point of view, how may the adoption of the law affect the implementation of SkyWay systems in the infrastructure of Russian cities and suburbs?
Based on provisions stipulated by the law, its adoption is aimed at:
- ensuring efficient and safe operation of non-surface transport, as well as its comprehensive development;
- increased affordability of non-surface transport services for population;
- perfection of national and municipal management in the field of non-surface transport.
In other words, this law is intended to ensure the implementation and development of non-surface transport, particularly SkyWay systems, because one of the advantages of SkyWay systems is the low cost of construction and operation, which is directly related to increasing the affordability of non-surface transportation services for population. At the same time, legislative adoption of such an objective as the comprehensive development of non-surface transport, suggests that the activity of the executive bodies will focus not only on the development of existing systems, but to a greater extent on the introduction of new systems with advantages that the SkyWay system has.
From the legal point of view, the advantage for the SkyWay system implementation is also a delimitation of authority between the Federal and local bodies of executive power and granting the latter wide rights, including:
- determination of the procedure for arrangement, change and cancellation of inter-municipal routes for regular traffic by non-surface transport, if they pass only on the territory of the corresponding constituent entity of the Russian Federation, as well as local routes for regular non-surface transport within the borders of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation;
- project designing, construction, reconstruction and overhaul repair of infrastructure objects of non-surface transport on inter-municipal lines of non-surface transport, if they pass only on the territory of the corresponding constituent entity of the Russian Federation, as well as local routes for regular non-surface transport within the boundaries of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation.
On adopting the law, the executive bodies of constituent entities of the Russian Federation will be entitled to determine independently the routes that require implementation and development, and will be able to choose the organization that will deal with the project designing and construction of track structures and rolling stock for such routes. In this case, the dialogue on the introduction of the SkyWay system moves over to the local level resulting in a faster adoption of strategic and operational solutions, as well as the absence of the need for multi-level approvals.
Simultaneously, the bodies of the national power of constituent entities of the Russian Federation are granted the right to conclude agreements with other constituent entities of the Russian Federation on the project designing, construction, reconstruction and overhaul repair of infrastructure facilities on non-surface transport at interregional lines of non-surface transport. This means that the introduction of the SkyWay system on the territory of several constituent entities of the Russian Federation will not require to address the Federal level to solve an issue, because the constituent entities of the Russian Federation will be entitled to conclude an agreement to implement the system on their territories.
The regulation of land relations in respect to the plots for non-surface transport should also be mentioned. After the adoption of the law, such land plots will become a separate category that will certainly simplify the procedure of land allocation for the purposes of construction, reconstruction and operation of infrastructure facilities for non-surface transport, as well as determination of servitudes (restrictions of the rights of other land users) within the boundaries of protected zones at the transport infrastructure facilities.
We should also pay special attention to article 19 of the considered draft law, which regulates particulars of service for passengers with disabilities and other persons with limited life’s activity. In particular, this article stipulates that passengers with disabilities and other persons with limited life’s activity should be provided with accessibility to their transportation and transportation of their hand luggage by the non-surface transport. It is certainly a progressive point of regulation, but at the same time, the SkyWay transport system already takes it into account and strives to provide such persons with the opportunity to use it without any discomfort. Thus, it is obvious that the implementation of the SkyWay transport system at this stage meets all the necessary requirements, which is a certain advantage over other types of non-surface transport not to mention even the automobile transport.
– What advantages from the point of view of legal regulation will the introduction of the law provide to SkyWay transport systems compared to the surface urban transport?
The introduction of such law is in itself the understanding at the legislative level of all existing problems in use of surface transport unsolvable in the usual way, as well as the advantages of non-surface transport, such as:
- environmental improvements (non-surface transport operates primarily on electric traction);
- improvement of transport affordability for population (due to coverage of areas with undeveloped or insufficiently developed motor-road infrastructure, as well as due to the speed, which may be higher than the maximum allowed within settlements for road transport);
- development of the national industry (construction of infrastructure, manufacture of rolling stock), including innovative areas (noise reduction, increased speed of traffic, new construction technologies).
Accordingly, this law is an advantage for such a transport system like SkyWay, because its action is directed at the primary and comprehensive development of non-surface (i.e. non-automotive) transport.
Taking into account such focus of this draft law, the SkyWay transport system has an absolute advantage over the surface transportation because it is the non-surface one. And in combination with everything previously mentioned, it also has advantages over other types of non-surface transport.
– What limitations will arise for SkyWay systems after the adoption of the law, how severely can they interfere with the implementation of these systems into the urban infrastructure?
– Taking into account the focus of this draft law, namely the primary and comprehensive development of non-surface transport, it can not bring about any restrictions for SkyWay systems, because this is the non-surface transport. The only thing that seems as a possible limitation is that the development of non-surface transport can lead to increased competition on the market of transport services. However, this can not be attributed to negative consequences both for the market as a whole and for the SkyWay system in particular.
– How is non-surface traffic regulated by the legislation of other countries? Which country, in your opinion, can be considered in this respect the most progressive and how does the Russian draft law look like on this background?
– In Germany the customers of public transport services are the municipalities and high-speed modes of transport are operated by state-owned companies with the status of public legal corporations. The Berlin transport companies (BVG) manage metro, tramways and bus routes in Berlin. The Austrian system of public transport copies the German one in general. The only metro of Austria is in Vienna (WL GmbH) and it is owned by the Vienna municipality. The contract signed between WL GmbH and the city of Vienna provides annual subsidies in pre-agreed amounts.
In France, the metro networks are integrated into the overall system of suburban-urban transportation, and the coordination of activities of transport companies is performed by the regional Transportation organizations (ALO), established under municipalities. They are engaged in the distribution of funds between the companies from the basic source, which is a special transport tax (Versement Transport) levied on enterprises in the regions with the number of employees exceeding 9 people.
In the UK the development of high-speed non-surface transport, including the underground, is carried out at the expense of the funds from syndicates created with the participation of private companies, companies-operators of the networks and national banks, as well as the funds from the companies-developers of residential areas (and business centers) and the city administration of London.
In major Canadian cities managements of public transport are also organized as public corporations with the purpose of coordination, planning, financing and development of an integrated inter-sectoral system of transportation by high-speed and conventional types of urban transport.
In connection with the above mentioned, the most progressive jurisdiction should be considered that of the European Union countries due to their experience in finding solutions to transportation problems, as well as the specifics of the historic architecture and the construction of routes in the cities, where non-surface transport is mostly used.
The Russian draft law looks quite relevant, since at present Russia has no legal framework for the implementation of projects to integrate transport capacities of metro, railway transport and other types of non-surface transport for arranging passenger traffic within settlements and agglomerations. The mechanisms to organize public transport services with metro and other types of non-surface transport are currently implemented based on past practice in the respective regions, which leads to the loss of the regulation unity, including the issues of technical operation, traffic rules and other related aspects.
In general, the draft law is quite detailed and systematic in regulating numerous issues. At the same time, it leaves many questions that need to be stipulated in other regulatory legal acts adopted in pursuance of the provisions of this draft law.
The legal basis for the introduction of SkyWay ― pre-start check
It seems the support to SkyWay from the Transport Ministry of the Russian Federation fits into the overall logics of the work of this Federal Agency. The draft law prepared by the Ministry can significantly facilitate the implementation of innovative transport systems in the transport infrastructure of Russia. The adoption of the law will mean the creation of a legal framework, which will be the basis to regulate the relations in the implementation and operation of non-surface transport. When the concepts and rules of their use are determined, it will become substantially easier to find a common ground between business and the State.
The official information about the introduction of the draft law is available on the website of the Russian government (in Russian).
Editor in chief of information services for international group of companies SkyWay, specialist in philosophy of science and technology