Moscow Metro rush hour developments

Rush hour: of the thrills for most Western visitors to Moscow is riding the underground Metro. Mostly underground with a few exceptions and the system that carries an average of 9 million riders every day.

How does it do that? Efficiently. Trains run every 90 seconds in peak hours which by the way in Russian is час пик. What is час пик? час is ch-a-s and that means “hour” or can be an expression of “time.” пик is p-i-k and that means “peak” so час пик is peak hour/rush hour.

Native Muscovites however are not so happy with a new map recently released. As reported in The Moscow News, “Moscow metro officials are looking for volunteers to create a replacement for a recently redesigned – and widely disliked – city metro transport map, said Pavel Sukharnikov, the metro’s spokesman, on Thursday.”

“The current renewed design has been criticised for displaying the wrong dimensions and leaving out the Moscow River from the scheme, among other failures. Metro officials say they will respond to passengers’ suggestions this time around.”

(By permission: City of Moscow; http://www.mos.ru/en)

Meanwhile Metro officials say that a Herrenknecht tunnel boring machine (TBM) is almost assembled so that engineers can begin tunneling between the Lermontovsky Prospekt and Vykhino subway stations in Moscow.

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Finding English speakers in Saint Petersburg

If finding English speakers in Saint Petersburg is of interest, then you’re in luck. Whether to practice your English learning skills with native speakers or to network with other expats, the English Centre – Excellence invites you to stop by for a visit during their open house this coming Friday, Saturday and Sunday (9-11 November/ноября). There will be open lessons for those who’d like to learn English and fun conversation.

Address: Nevskiy, 80

The English Centre – Excellence is where one can find both English teachers and English teachers  and the address is Nevskiy, 80 (Адрес: Невский 80) and you may call for directions locally in Peter at  911-52-25.

Two new evening classes for Russian speakers who would like to learn English are starting next week so this is a great time to visit the Centre.

Также центр английского языка Excellence приглашает на открытые уроки тех, кто еще не знает английского.
Адрес: Невский 80
Контакты: 911-52-25

St Peter telephone: 911-52-25

English language radio station coming to Moscow

English speakers in Moscow will soon have a English language radio station, not the first but the first full time English station, on the FM dial in Moscow starting next Monday the 12th of November. Last month the Moscow Media Group negotiated broadcast rights with the city of Moscow for the 105.2FM frequency.

City officials say that the station will cater to English speaking residents and tourists. Officials believe that at least 150,000 English speakers reside and work in the greater Moscow area. In addition to expats it is estimated that over 5 million English speaking visitors come to Moscow each year. The city’s population is over 12 million and some estimates say closer to 14 million due to undocumented workers from Asia and former Soviet republics.

The station will occupy the frequency currently known as “Next 105.2” a station playing mainly R&B and Rock in English, featuring a playlist of singers like Vanilla Ice, Usher, Blondie, Pet Shop Boys, Rihanna, Madonna and Pink.

The new Moscow FM will likely begin on the airwaves on Monday, 12 November. Currently the Next 105.2 format remains on the air as of this report.

Station Chief Igor Shestakov of Moscow Media Group told Russian news service Kommersant that much of the content will come from state owned international news channel Russia Today television. Russia Today already provides programming from its Washington, DC (USA) programming facilities on stations in New York City and Washington, DC. Shestakov said that much of the news will be of interest to English speaking expats and Moscow residents.

Moscow residents may remember when Russian Oligarch Alexander Lebedev announced plans for an English-language radio station in Moscow in 2009.

Russia passes new Internet censorship law

(Forbes)

Russia has passed and implemented a new law for blacklisting websites that the government determines has illegal content which includes sites on drugs, suicide and child porn. The institution responsible for site monitoring will be the Federal Supervision Agency.

The controversial new law came into effect on November 1 under which authorities can now close sites with a wide range of topics that a court has ruled “are extremist.”

“This law can be seen as one of the elements that can, if the need arises, curb freedom of speech,” says information rights expert Ilya Rassolov. The law is the latest in a raft of restrictive bills pushed through parliament in recent months, including legislation that dramatically hikes fines on protesters, made libel a criminal offense, and forced foreign-funded nongovernmental organizations to register as “foreign agents.”

Reporters Without Borders has been critical of the Russian government’s motives in a statement for failing to “resolve the law’s contradictions and to eliminate those that pose threats to freedom.”

Read the rest of the article at Forbes.