Friday, October 20 2017 15:38
Naira Badalian

Chairman of the Union of Carriers of Armenia on the policy of "survival" of owners of route lines:  Everybody knows about this, both tax authorities and authorities know and are silent

Chairman of the Union of Carriers of Armenia on the policy of "survival" of owners of route lines:  Everybody knows about this, both tax authorities and authorities know and are silent

ArmInfo. In 2018 the Yerevan municipality plans to introduce a unified urban land transport system, which will begin to operate according to general rules. Private carriers, like public ones, will accept city tickets of a single payment system - a replenished (plastic) transport card.  Chairman of the Union of Carriers of Armenia Grant Yeghiazaryan told in a press conference on October 20.

According to him, today's congestion in the streets of Yerevan is the result of a large number of transport and inadequate traffic management. "Yerevan streets were once designed for a much smaller number of cars, so the regulation of traffic at this stage requires modernization," he said. The expert proposes to develop workarounds for downloading the city center, and also to provide for some changes in the regulations. So, if the driver stopped at the first red traffic light signal, then further, if he continues to go straight, he should not stop until the end of the route, Yeghiazaryan said.

Urban congestion, according to the expert, is also the result of an unreasonably large number of taxi services. "According to unofficial data, 4,000 to 7,000 taxi drivers work in the capital, at least, they can be divided into two groups, so that some work on even, the other on odd days of the month," the expert suggests.

At the same time, the Chairman of the Union of Armenian Carriers, the former activist for increasing the fare, says that the current situation with the minibuses on the roads, namely the transportation of passengers in minibuses, filled to impossibility, is due to the objective necessity to cover the costs of the line owners, since the business has long been unprofitable. The expert reminds that in 2014, at the invitation of the Yerevan Mayor's Office, foreign, independent experts conducted research, which made it clear that the only way to achieve profitability would be to increase tariffs: a minibus with gas should operate at a tariff of 157 AMD and a bus 202 AMD. The recommended tariff for a bus on diesel fuel was 257 AMD. Then, for a number of reasons, the government, first of all because of the wide public resonance, refused to raise the tariff, but due to this, Yeghiazaryan says, about 15 lines were closed during the last two years. 23 lines for today remain unclaimed, because the tenders announced by the capital administration do not respond to the business.

At the same time, he calls not to refer to the experience of neighboring Georgia, where the fare for public transport is low. According to him, our situation is different and we should not look for any correlations with our neighbors.

At present, as Yeghiazaryan noted, in order to somehow cover their expenses and provide the bar established by the line owner, drivers are forced to carry out passenger transportation in loaded minibuses.  In addition, the head of the Union admits that the situation may also be due to the fact that routeers are forced to leave the "shadow". Expert said that in due time - in 2005-2006 shadow in the sphere was 5%, for today it is not at all. According to Hrant Yeghiazaryan, who, according to him, currently does not own any route line, the owners of the lines pay taxes in the prescribed amount. Yeghiazaryan does not see the "shadow" even if the driver is assigned a salary at a minimum - about 50 thousand AMD, but in fact he earns from 150 thousand to 200 thousand AMD and social payments are made from a fixed amount.  "Everybody knows about this, and tax authorities and authorities know and are silent. Otherwise, no one will work," the head of the Union of Carriers of Armenia said.

The day before, Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan ordered to deal with city traffic jams during the meeting of the Armenian government. He instructed the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technologies, the State Committee for Urban Planning, the Police and the Yerevan City Administration to study the possibilities of reducing the number of traffic jams in the capital in two months, taking into account the likelihood of limiting places for parking in certain places, tightening the organization and control of traffic, as well as the construction of bypass roads. The Prime Minister also instructed in a month's time to investigate and submit proposals on the possibility of revising approaches to register violations of the law in one minute for the landing or disembarkation of passengers from transport.


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