The Kiev city council decided on 4 March to return management of the City Commuter Rail’s rolling stock, which consists of 12 trains, to the Ukrainian Ministry of Infrastructure, the Interfax Ukraine news agency reports.

Eighty-one deputies voted for this decision.

The head of the Kievpastrans municipal transport enterprise, Serhii Maizel, told the city council’s session that this would allow the enterprise to save UAH 40 million per year.

According to the explanatory note to the draft of the city council’s decision, the decision was made with the aim of optimizing the city’s expenditures on implementation of the City Commuter Rail project. Kievpastrans currently owes the Yugozapadnaya Railway UAH 56 million for railway infrastructure services, as well as for maintenance and repair of these trains.

The City Commuter Rail began operating in Kiev in August 2009. The Yugozapadnaya Railway transferred the commuter rail onto the books of Kievpastrans in January 2012. The railway assumed the responsibility for maintenance of the railway infrastructure in proper condition and stated its readiness to repair the trains and organize their operation. At the same time, Kievpastrans was entirely responsible for the state of the City Commuter Rail’s rolling stock.

The State Railway Administration (Ukrzaliznytsia) has repeatedly said that the Kiev city administration owes the Yugozapadnaya Railway for commuter rail services.