18 july

Chisinau councilors comment on decision to remove minibus routes

The Chisinau councilors contacted by IPN said they have waited for many years for the strategy for reforming the public transport in Chisinau, but it hasn’t been submitted for consideration yet. The councilors said the elimination of the minibus routes that overlap the bus and trolleybus routes is also a commitment made to the EBRD. But the decision must be common, not of the mayor.

Liberal-Democratic councilor Ghenadie Ivashchenko said the strategy for reforming the public transport in Chisinau must specify all the stages of removing the minibus routes, the costs and those responsible for these processes. “I don’t know why the mayor hurried up. His actions are open to question,” he stated.

Liberal-Reformist councilor Igor Calin said the mayor’s decision to remove seven minibus routes astonished the local councilors. “Regretfully, owing to the lack of transparence in the work of the City Hall and the mayor, we do not know what’s going on. We find out occasionally, when scandals appear. The councilors collect such information from the media. It is an illegal decision. We agree that the minibus routes must not overlap the trolleybus and bus routes, but such a decision should be taken not by on person, but based on a strategy,” he said, adding that the municipal transport division has promised a reformation strategy several years ago, but it wasn’t yet presented.

Oleg Cernei, councilor of the Liberal Party, of which the mayor forms part, said the decision to annul the seven minibus routes is a commitment made by the City Hall in 2011 in a move not to double the bus and trolleybus routes. The decision is aimed at increasing the revenues of the Chisinau Electric Transport Company so as to be able to repay the loan taken out from the EBRD for modernizing the trolleybus company. “Public perception of the minibuses is negative, especially because of the impudent behavior of the drivers. The mayor general signed the two orders to remove the seven minibus routes. Another 13 routes will be annulled in September. This way the strategy for reforming the public transport, under which minibuses will run only in the suburban and peripheral areas where there are no buses and trolleybuses, is being implemented,” stated the councilor.

The Communist faction issued a public statement on this subject. The Communist councilors say the minibus transport is one of the most corrupt sectors of the city’s administration, which brings enormous revenues to the underground organizations. They consider that the latest developments are the result of the visible unwillingness of the mayor and his team to really implement a modern transport management system in Chisinau. The Communist faction is convinced that the transport system in Chisinau can be revitalized and maintained on a long term only based on carefully planned strategies worked out by the bodies of the power with the active participation of civil society and the business community.