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Problems Of Highger Prices for tickets in minibuses in Chisinau discussed in contradictory

29.09.2005   Basa-press  466 
IONITSA Veaceslav
Gradul ştiinţific: Dr. in Economics

Private transporters in Chisinau seek higher prices of tickets in minibuses, while independent experts say that the introduction of higher transportation tariffs is groundless.

"Transporters negotiate higher tariffs with a muncipal commission. If the commission does not give green light to their demands, transporters will protest, including will stop working," Ion Mamaliga, chairman of tje association of private transporters in Chisinau, said. Owners of minibuses warn that they suffer serious losses after the Diesel oil price has grown, and demand the government to increase the travel tariff from 2 up to 3 lei.

On the other hand, Veaceslav Ionita, expert of the Institute for Development and Social Initiatives Viitorul, considers that the demand to increase the tariffs for minibuses is groundless. "It cannot be said that the business is unlucrative as long as the right to travel on an itinerary costs 2,000-6,000 dollars, and investments in business are recovered in maximum two years," Ionita noted.

He underlined that the transportation market in Chisinau is evaluated at 400 million lei, a figure comparable with the mobile telephony market, for example. "However, very large sums are invested in communication sector, while the minibus system in Chisinau is old and must be revised.

"The transportation market is expected to grow up to one billion lei the next 3-4 years. We will see one day that there is no more room for minibuses. The growth of tariffs means our continued support for the minibus system. The municipality should do it s best in order to replace minibuses with buses," Ionita recommended.

He stated that minibuses have solved the transportation problem in Chisinau ten years ago, but it the municipality must give up them now. "The minibus system is already creating traffic, ecological, problems and private transporters should handle it since the state is incapable to purchase buses now," Ionita added.

In the context, transporters say that they would bhe ready to give up minibuses if the state awards some guarantees. "We could buy buses but who assures us that a political, not an economically argued tariff will be applied in future. Who will ensure us that we will not face the same situation - to be refused a higher tariff and to suffer new co nsequences of some political games," said Mamaliga.

Expert Ghenadie Ivascenco, manager of the UNDP project Charming Moldova, considers that the minibus transportation system "is losing ground." "The negative effects such as blocking of streets, ecological problems, low quality of service are already visible. A new transportation development concept in Chisinau is needed, but unfortunately neither transporters, nor municipality can establish a constructive dialogue for elaboration of this strategy," Ivascenco stated to BASA.

The Chisinau Municipal Council turned down on September 23 a demand to increase the price of tariffs by 50 percent, from 2 up to 3 lei, and created a commission to make an additional analysis of the need to higher tariffs.

At present, about 2,000 minibuses ensure almost 25 percent of passenger traffic in Chisinau.

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