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Friday, April 20, 2007

Ulaanbaatar to have underground transport system

Ulaanbaatar has recently announced that it registered one-millionth citizen, becoming a metropolis. Odriin Sonin daily news reported today that UB municipal administration projected to build underground mass rapid transit system in Ulaanbaatar.

According to the project, a total of over 50 km long system with five lines would be built: west-east line is from Tavan Shar to Botanic Garden, north-south line is from Doloon Buudal to Zaisan, and two additional ines from Chinggis Khaan International Airport to Tsagaan Khaalga, and from Sansar to Shar Khad, and downtown line that goes circle. The project is a part of the Master Plan of Ulaanbaatar Development 2020. The city administration is now preparing to get it evaluated by environmental assessment.
MNT 60 billion funding maybe required in the first stage of the project, the newspaper reported.
I believe that it won't be realized in 10 years at least. But, it is good to start talking now. Some months ago, I was reading an interview with Gankhuu about UB must have underground. He said UB needs only one line that connects east and west: Botanic Garden and Tavan Shar. No matter how many lines to be built, UB should have underground system.

I have been to many cities in the world; New York, Singapore, Beijing, Berlin, Hamburg, and Amsterdam. They all have underground transport system. Singaporean MRT was much confortable (2002), and very user-friendly. New York Subway (2007) was not such comfortable, and it was difficult to read the map. I left the city before I got used to the subway map. Berlin U-Bahn (2003) was nice. Beijing's (2005) Subway is quite new, and it is comfortable. I still have that ticket in my photo album. The only thing about the Beijing Subway is there were people standing at the gateway checking tickets. Maybe it has become automated now.