Carriers protest in front of Government Building

Tens of minibuses and buses were parked in front of the Government Building on November 25 as part of a protest mounted by passenger carriers. They said they can no longer work at a loss following the rise in the prices of fuels, overhaul services and car insurance. Many complained about the decline in the flow of passengers and about illegal passenger transport practices that create unfair competition, IPN reports.

The chairman of the Board of the Employers Association of Road Transport Operators Oleg Alexa said that this is a new protest staged after a period of about two years. The carriers hoped things will change, including in the passenger transport. But the situation remained the same or even worsened. “There are illegal practices that steal passengers and those who work legally remain with two-three passengers. Corruption at ANTA (National Agency of Road Transport, e.n.) flourishes and illegal transport practices also do so,” said Oleg Alexa. According to him, car insurance grew more expensive even if operators’ calculations show that fewer accidents involving passengers occurred and less damage was caused.

Veaceslav Găină, route administrator, said the carriers had meetings with officials of the Ministry of Transport and they told them about the problems faced by operators. The charges and fares should be adjusted as the oil products, spare parts and repair services are now more expensive. The Chisinau Bus Company benefited from millions of lei in subsidies and the state should support the operators too.

Another administrator, Veaceslav Railean, said the carriers are on the razor’s edge. The passenger transport sector goes to track and ruin. Drivers quit because of the low salaries and choose to do something else as they want to get rid of the terror of the inspection bodies. Many of the working drivers are older persons, while the young persons who start to work as drivers do not resist long.

Carrier Virgiliu Tudorache said the fuel prices the past two years grew by about 40% and car insurance grew as much. The pandemic also had an impact on the situation, leading to a decrease in the number of commuters.

In 2009, the Ministry of Transport approved the charge at 0.38 lei/km, in 2013 at 0.48 lei/km, while in 2019 at 0.60 lei/km.

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