Tbilisi Mayor to Present New Transport Policy

Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze announced that he will soon present a new transport policy for Tbilisi, aimed at gradually solving all the existing transport problems in the capital.

“In the next few days, we are going to present our transport policy which will be scheduled for the next several years. It will function as a guideline for us as to which problems we should solve first and when,” Kaladze said.

The Mayor spoke about the main problem in the capital – old public transport and its emissions, recognizing that it creates serious ecological damage.

“Yellow buses, mini-buses and their exhaust fumes are a serious problem in terms of air pollution. We need to tighten regulations in order to reduce car and bus emissions in the capital,” he said.

The Mayor says that along with public transport, old cars also pose a threat to the ecology.

At present, there are 816 buses in the capital, of which 143 blue buses are new and the remainder are old, yellow buses.

The main difference between the yellow and blue busses is that the old ones work on diesel, and 86% of them could not meet the standards of technical inspection this year. The majority of yellow buses are faulty and cannot pass inspection, mainly due to failures in the exhaust systems. Using such buses is not allowed by Georgian legislation as they cause massive air pollution.

The new, blue buses are larger is size and operate in Tbilisi thanks to an agreement signed between one of the leading international providers of commercial vehicles, the Man Truck and Bus AG Company.

Blue Man buses are efficient and economical, as they run on compressed natural gas (CNG), meaning they are more energy efficient, produce reduced vehicle emissions and are cheaper to operate than diesel-equivalent buses. Moreover, all new buses are adapted for people with disabilities and are equipped with surveillance cameras.

As stated by the Mayor earlier, the new Transport Policy also includes the working of public transport throughout night hours on specific days. At present, minibuses, buses and metro are not available after 12am.

Changes have already been made to taxis. This spring saw the initiation of the mandatory registration of taxis announced by the Mayor’s Office. This means that people who want to be taxi drivers will have to apply for a special permit from Tbilisi City Hall.

By Thea Morrison

14 June 2018 20:43