No toll roads for Almaty yet: municipal authorities18 august 2014, 20:07
In 2013, Akim of Almaty Akhmetzhan Yessimov proposed introducing toll roads to decrease the number of non-residents of Almaty driving through and in the city, to cut the amount of traffic in Almaty and reduce the pressure on the city's streets. He proposed introducing a fee of around 5 cents for driving along Al Farabi and Sain streets. However, a year has passed since, but no adjustments were made into the traffic regulations of the city so far.
Deputy Akim of Almaty Yuri Iliyn said that having toll roads in Almaty would be unprofitable. He added that under the current legislation the money from toll roads went into the state budget. "But we don't need this. The money should stay in the city and work for the local budget," he said.
“It is hard to say when exactly the project is going to be introduced. As of today, our legislation does not allow a city to introduce toll roads independently. We have an example of Astana-Schuchinsk toll road. It is serviced by KazAvtoZhol company. So the money that our citizens pay as toll end up with the state-run company" and subsequently in the central budget, the Deputy Akim explained.
Almaty city authorities have received a number of offers from foreign companies willing to supply and set up the equipment, so the legislation remains the only barrier for the toll rounds and Almaty residents at this points.
“We are working with the lawmakers to introduce changes into our legislation. Only then we will be able to really talk about introducing toll roads in Almaty. We are also considering introducing paid access into Almaty (for residents of nearby towns and villages) and constructing three bus terminals and a parking zones for 5 thousand cars" so that non-residents of Almaty who want to enter the city could leave their cars in the parking zones outside the city and take a bus to continue on into Almaty from there, he said.
"To tell you the truth, I am not in favor of paid access to the city. But we could make a couple of streets toll roads nevertheless,” Iliyn said.
Reporting by Roza Yessenkulova, writing by Gyuzel Kamalova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina