(QHA) -

Passenger volumes across the Kerch Strait, the only viable transport link between Crimea and Russia's mainland besides air travel, are forecasted to double this year, according to Russia's Transportation Ministry.

"Our task is to transport daily about 50,000 passengers and 10,000 automobiles both ways," Igor Titov, head of the United Transport Directorate, was quoted by news agency TASS as saying on Saturday. On average, ferries in the area transported about 26,000 passengers and 7,000 cars daily last year.

Ferries across the Kerch Strait carried 2.9 million passengers last year, almost three times more than in 2013, the Transportation Ministry said on Saturday.

The Kerch ferry, which is currently the only mode of transportation that connects Crimea with continental Russia, often suspends its services because of impending bad weather.

QHA