Citizens who are late for work in the morning or rush home tired at the end of the day no longer want to hear numbers about how many buses have been brought to Yerevan, how many will be brought, etc. Along with these promises of the authorities, people still continue to pay 100 drams and travel standing, squeezed or hanging from the bus doors.
Yesterday evening we talked with citizens waiting for their bus at the bus stop, they were trying to find a place to sit on the bus and get home.
“Sometimes we wait for forty minutes,” says a middle-aged man.
“It is difficult to travel in the same transport with several times more people,” adds another Yerevan resident.
The picture is the same in the morning. Those rushing to work or class from the suburbs of Yerevan to the center again spend nerves and time to get there without being late, even if they are standing.
According to the project of the British consulting company WYG, 840 buses and 101 trolleybuses should be operated in Yerevan, but at the moment about 500 new buses are still being operated.
According to Armen Galjian, the head of the ruling “My Step” faction of the Yerevan Council of Elders, the situation has become more complicated especially because around 80 big purple buses are in a broken state, and they are busy repairing them. In addition, according to him, in the last month, about 50 drivers were fired for violating discipline requirements, not turning on the air conditioner, smoking behind the wheel, deviating from the schedule, pocketing 100 drams and other violations.
Last year, the municipality acquired 211 new buses, and another 150 8.5-meter buses will reach Yerevan by the end of the year.
We asked Galjian how many more buses should be imported so that people can travel sitting down first and then not have to wait long for their transport.
“The winning organization is already known, and we expect to import approximately thirty trolleybuses at the end of this year. And already in the spring, we are waiting for the import of approximately ninety large-class buses, we are talking about twelve-meter buses. “The issue of opening a separate route for buses is being discussed, and in this case the problem will be finally solved, because other cars will be prohibited from traveling on the route that will be allocated only for buses,” he said.
Commuter Anahit Babayan has a proposal for the representatives of the city government, who have been following the path of public transport reforms for 4 years. – “The city authorities, represented by the mayor of Yerevan, must definitely use public transport. And it’s not one day, and it’s not for show. But every day they go to work and come back to imagine if it is possible for a citizen to run in such a way, to somehow shrink, tolerate a smoking driver, suffocate from the heat…”
Meanwhile, Galjyan says: – “We feel it on our skin. As far as I know, the mayor sometimes travels by transport, I also sometimes travel and I felt it on my skin for a large part of my life, and now I feel it often whenever I use it. There is no need to sit down every day to understand the problem.”
City authorities regularly state that from 2011 to 2018, no buses were purchased from Yerevan’s budget, this was done only through private purchases and Chinese donations. They promise that the problem will be solved gradually.
Earlier, Mayor Hrachya Sargsyan stated on “Azatutyan” air that the transport problem will be settled by 70% by the end of 2023.