New Weight on Georgian Population
30 June, 2011
New Weight on Georgian Population

Marshrutka travel fees may follow household waste collection prices

Current fees are bearing heavily on ordinary citizens. Namely, we are witnessing the new scandal. The city municipality tied the fees on household waste collection to the electricity consumption, causing to a certain extent a disturbance in the population. It is worth noting that the social networks are actively engaged in the discussions on the issue. Many members do not rule out even protest actions. The issue of new waste removal fees

adds up to the old problem of possible marshrutka fee rise. Experts are openly suspecting a serious confrontation between the route taxi company (marshrutka means route taxi) and management of the Capital.

New marshrutka taxis on Tbilisi streets are expected to appear from 10 July. Initially, the travel fee will remain unaltered, i.e. 50 tetri. Tbilisi micro-bus is not going to raise fees for now at least. This is in spite of the fact that Davit Asanidze, representative of the Company, quite recently did not rule out such a rise. Economic expert Zviad Kandelaki explains the back-pedaling thanks to the pressure exerted by the Government. He does not rule out that the Company received an order directly from the Mayor’s office.

Yet, there are informal reports that recent increases in the rubbish removal fees induced the Government to postpone the process around marshrutka fees. However, the experts link the current withholding of travel fee to the advice of Mayor’s office to the Head of Tbilisi micro-bus Company.

New route taxies will appear on Tbilisi streets from 10 July. By that time, Tbilisi micro-bus Company will have up to 400 cars in its motor park. Gradually, all of them will be servicing the city by the end of the month.

Tbilisi micro-bus informs that travel fees on their cars could be paid by integrated cards. In other words, Tbilisi residents would be able to use cards that they already use in municipal transport, i.e. metro and bus. All those passengers, who will use the electronic card to pay travel fees, will have an opportunity to take advantage of the flexible price reduction system. As for socially vulnerable population, they will be able to travel in micro-buses for half a fee.

It must be noted that recently Davit Asanidze of Tbilisi Micro-Bus Company used to assert that the travel fees were going to increase to 80 tetri, though later on he changed his mind and ruled out any rise of the fees. This means that the company representative was forced to retract his previous words. All these led experts to believe that “despite the declined oil prices in the world, the fuel price did not undergo any downward movement on the price ladder by even a single tetri. Thanks to such policy of our oil importing companies, Tbilisi Micro-Bus Co. and other similar companies will always have an excuse to raise travel fees.”

Despite such conclusions of experts, Tbilisi Micro-Bus states that the issue of possible fee rise is not completely removed from the agenda.

“I am at pain to predict anything, even though the marshrutka taxi fees should not be raised. Lately, petrol prices show rising trends. This in turn has a direct bearing on the fees. Let’s wait till the new micro-buses take up their duties. If we manage to stay within the old limit of fares, accordingly, we will not raise travel fees,” said the company spokesman in his recent statement.

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