Electric transport to solicit soon a new tariff due to increase in price of power

The price of MDL 1 for one travel by trolleybus will not be possible to be maintained for a long time, because until the end of the year the Chisinau Electric Transport Management (CETM) will solicit to the Chisinau Municipal Council to examine a new tariff, due to the increase in price of power, Mihai Roscovan, the head of the Business Consulting Institute declared. According to him, in the next weeks the National Agency for Energy Regulation plans to approve new increases for the tariff of power delivered to the Power Networks of the Company “Union Fenosa”, and subsequently this increase will determine the power supplier to ask on its turn increased tariffs for the final consumers, including CETM. In this way, CTEM will be justified to request once again to the CMC to increase the tariff for a travel by trolleybus up to MDL 1.5. Roscovan states that if the tariff in the electric transport, which was voted on Tuesday by the CMC, would have been approved a year ago, as transporters requested, adjusting of the costs, according to the real necessities of the transporters and of the Tariff Estimation Methodology approved recently, would not been so significant for citizens. The vote of the councilors is only a compromise aimed at diminishing the impact of these price increases. According to the Estimation Methodology, the price for one travel by trolleybus amounts to MDL 1.57. Asked about the role of the Estimation methodology, whether the councilors approved tariff increases taking into consideration other reasons, including political, Roscovan said that the methodology settles the minimum of information on the necessity of increasing the tariffs and justifies the request of the transporters regarding the tariff increases. If such a methodology exists the councilors can not refuse examining the increase of tariffs, being forced after its approval on July 11 to make the solicited increases or to subsidize public transport from the local budget, even if subsidizing would not satisfy all the requests of the transporters, Roscovan says. Adjusting tariffs in transport, according to the new estimation methodology is justified by the increase in price of fuel, as well as by other subjective reasons regarding the enterprises which offer transportation service and which could constitute reasons for demanding new increases. Until now, the problem of increasing tariffs for all types of passenger transports was tackled several times, but this issue was always postponed. A part of the councilors motivated their actions by the concern for public money; another part saw a political subtext blaming their colleagues of populism and incapacity of being responsible for the made decisions. However, Roscovan says that in the near future, the councilors will have to rectify the budget in order to increase the subsidizing offered by the municipal budget to municipal transporters so that they could recover the losses they had because of the small tariffs and because of the facilities offered to pensioners. According to the expert, it is necessary that CMC revises its policy of offering facilities to old people. Roscovan states that the facilities must be offered only to the categories of persons that are truly socially-disadvantaged and not to the categories of pensioners who can pay for their travel, especially when it comes to ex-MPs. At present the budgetary subventions for CTEM amount to MDL 36 mln and the ones for the Urban Bus Fleet (UBF) exceed MDL 40 mln. Mihai Roscovan said that the local administration is not using sufficiently the leverages that could determine the population to buy season tickets. According to him, in many countries it is used a mechanism of differentiated season tickets – for students for a half a year, for the first half of the day or only for the second. In this context Roscovan declared that most probably the price of season tickets will increase proportional to the tariffs for one travel in public transport, mentioning that according to the decision of CMC, season tickets for students will not increase. As regards the travel by bus, although the estimation methodology was presenting a price of MDL 4, the head of (UBF), Anatol Gheorghita declared that he is only partially satisfied with the decision made by the councilors saying that the tariffs for rural localities were not increased. According to Gheorghita, 70% of the routs managed by the enterprise are suburban. Starting August 1, the citizens of Chisinau will pay MDL 1 for one travel by trolleybus, MDL 2 – by bus and MDL 3 – by minibus. The Municipal Transport Enterprises shall calculate new prices for season tickets and the Public Transport and Communication Ways General Department shall present until September 1 a new scheme for the circulation of the public transport, so that minibuses would not circulate on the same route with trolleybuses and buses. The last tariff increase in the public transport in Chisinau was approved by the Chisinau Municipal Council in December 2001.

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