Public transport upgrade and gradual reduction of the use of private vehicles will be the key priorities of the capital’s new transport policy, according to Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze.
Kaladze unveiled the transport policy for 2018-2021 yesterday, at a presentation attended by government officials, lawmakers and representatives of local civil society organizations.
According to the Mayor, in 2018-2019, all 511 outdated municipal buses will be replaced by “new, European-style buses,” and that GEL 270 million (USD 102 million) would be allocated from the state budget for that purpose. He also announced that by 2021, the number of municipal buses and metro trains would increase to 900 (from 655) and 55 (from 43), respectively.
The municipality authorities plan to reduce the number of minibuses (commonly referred as marshrutkas) as well. Those remaining will be assigned only to those routes where “large capacity buses cannot navigate.” Currently, there are about 2000 marshrutkas serving the city.
Kaladze also announced plans for piloting the zoned and time-restricted parking system from January 2019, and introducing mandatory licensing of municipality taxis from October 2018.
With the new policy, the authorities expect to decrease the share of private vehicle transportation from 30% to 16% and increase the share of public transportation use from 39% to 55% by 2021.
Speaking at the presentation, Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze said “significant financial resources” would be allocated from the state budget to upgrade the public transport system in the country’s capital. “In the near future, the transportation system will be qualitatively different and genuinely European,” he added.