An important part of the infrastructure of the regions is transport. The rhythmicity and efficiency of all enterprises of the region, as well as the state of its social sphere, depend on its effective functioning. In modern conditions, the transport complex is also the basis for the economic integration of regions, their inclusion in the international division of labor and the formation of new foreign economic relations.
The functional purpose of transport is to ensure the movement of goods and passengers in space and time. Therefore, for it, to a greater extent than for any other industry, it is characterized by territorial specificity. The most important feature is the spatial and network nature of the location of its objects, which causes a close relationship with the territory, the location of production and the settlement system. The density of the network and the power of traffic flows characterizes to a certain extent the level of concentration of production, the degree of development of the territory, its potential, as well as the level of economic and social development of the region.
The following groups of factors influence the development of transport in the regions:
general economic, determining: the nature of the territorial division of labor and the structure of production; the level of economic and social development of the region in relation to what has been achieved in the country; the peculiarity of the economic mechanism regulating the relationship between production and transport; sectoral technical and economic, reflecting: changes in the volume and structure of transportation; improvement of operational activities; management and coordination of the work of various modes of transport and organization of the transportation process; optimization of cargo and passenger flows; factors related to scientific and technological progress in transport, the introduction of new, improved means of rolling stock, machinery and equipment; mechanization and automation of production processes; improvement of the transport network; territorial, characterizing: features of transport and economic relations in the region; the level of specialization of production, the system of resettlement; placement of socio-economic facilities on this territory; natural and climatic conditions and the nature of their interaction with transport; level of pollution of the territory.
Forecasting and planning the development of transport infrastructure must necessarily be preceded by an analysis of the state of the transport network in the regions. The material and technical base of the transport system is formed by communication routes, transport hubs, mobile technical and loading and unloading facilities. Depending on the purpose, the transport of the region is divided into urban, suburban, intra-district, inter-district.
An important element of the transport system is the transport network, which is a collection of all communication routes connecting the settlements of the region, and which is characterized by the following indicators.
The density of the network (P) reflects the transport security of the territory and is determined by the ratio of the length of the network (L) to the area of the territory (S):
In the Republic of Belarus, the density of the railway network is quite high and is 27 km per 1000 km2 of territory. However, the country also has a high degree of uneven distribution of the transport network across regions. So, if in the Brest region the density of the railway network is over 33 km per 1000 km2, then in the Minsk and Gomel regions – only 22 km. At the same time, only 40% of the urban settlements of the republic have access to railway transport, and this figure ranges from 21% in the Grodno region to 50% in the Mogilev region.
The average density of roads is also quite high (291.7 km per 1000 km2), but the differentiation in the provision of a transport network of roads is also very significant, since in a number of areas the density of roads is below 150 km per 1000 km2. Of course, the development of transport infrastructure should be associated with an increase in the density of the transport network in those regions where it is below the national average.
The index (coefficient) of the density of means of communication (K) is calculated as the ratio of the density of communication routes in the microregion (LMIC) to the density of communication routes in the metaregion (LMET):
The index of density of communication routes quite fully reflects the comparative provision of the territory with transport routes, but does not take into account the density of cargo flows associated with the peculiarities of the development and location of the centers of production and consumption of products. Therefore, for the full characterization of the transport infrastructure of the region, it is necessary to additionally calculate the indicator of the density of the cargo mass (KPL) in the region:
where Qotp is the volume of shipped goods; Qprib – volume of arrival of goods; S is the area of the region.
Similarly, the density of passenger traffic and the region’s additional need for transport routes can be calculated.
To assess the availability of a region with a transport network, the Engel coefficient (FE) can be used, which is determined as follows:
where D is the length of the transport network in the region, km; S – area of the region, km2; Н – population, people.
Based on the analysis of the transport network of the regions, the main directions of development of the country’s transport infrastructure are determined. At the same time, an important task is not only to further increase the length of roads, but also to improve their technical condition. Similarly, it is important to take care not only of increasing (equalizing) the density of railways in the regions, but also of their quality (double-track highways, electrification, etc.).
The main task of the transport complex of the Republic of Belarus in the future should be the stabilization of the work of all its types, the sustainable functioning of the main types of public transport, which depends on the level of cooperation with the CIS countries, as well as Poland, Germany and Hungary, which are the main suppliers of rolling stock to our country.
For the further socio-economic development of cities, it is necessary to ensure the smooth operation of urban transport, for which it is necessary to solve the following main tasks:
to ensure the growth of the production potential of all types of urban transport in accordance with the needs of the population and the national economy of cities; increase the operational reserves of transport; to create a system of guaranteed provision of urban transport with material and technical resources (rolling stock, fuel, etc.); rebuild the management structure of urban transport and communications based on market conditions of management.
For the effective functioning of the transport complex in the regions, it is necessary to update fixed assets, since the degree of their deterioration is from 50 to 75%. In addition, the efficiency of transport in the regions is negatively affected by the current procedure for setting tariffs for urban and suburban transportation. Urban transport is organized within the city limits or outside it to points established by local authorities. Suburban transportation in the Republic of Belarus includes transportation within the administrative region or with a route distance of up to 50 km. Transportation over a distance of more than 50 km belongs to intercity and is organized on the terms of full self-financing, while tariffs for urban and suburban transportation, as a rule, are subsidized by local budgets.
However, in practice, the losses of transport companies are not fully compensated, which objectively hinders the development of transport infrastructure. It should be pointed out that state subsidies (compensation for losses) of transport transportation are a common practice in both transitional and developed market economies. In some so-called liberal market countries, the degree of such subsidy significantly exceeds the level adopted in the Republic of Belarus (for example, in England, the restrictive zone of subsidizing transportation is 1.5 times larger and amounts to 75 km.).