The chairman of the Board of the Employers Association of Motor Transport Operators Oleg Alexa said the municipality of Chisinau has enough resources in the budget to keep the trolleybus fare at 2 lei and the bus and minibus fare at 3 lei, but should equitably provide subsidies to all the categories of carriers.
In a news conference at IPN, Oleg Alexa said the minibus route managers in Chisinau, which are private carriers, do not receive allocations from the City Hall and are thus discriminated compared with the municipal transport enterprises. A sum of 448 million lei is to be transferred from the municipal budget to the Urban Bus Company and the Chisinau Electric Transport Company this year. Of this sum, 381 million lei represents subsidies for transporting passengers who benefit from concessions.
Oleg Alexa noted he doubts a number of data from the reports of municipal transport enterprises and the correctness of providing subsidies for transporting passengers who travel free. According to the estimates of private carriers, the Urban Bus Company can ask for at most 70 million lei subsidies, while the Chisinau Electric Transport Company cannot justify at least 100 million lei. “If this sum of 381 million lei is kept in subsidies for all the three categories, theoretically it could be enough for the minibuses to transport passengers free, as the buses do,” stated the chairman of the Board.
“The monthly average salary of an employee of the Chisinau Electric Transport Company is of over 11,000 lei. Are our drivers worse than theirs? Why cannot we provide these salaries of 11,000 lei?” he asked.
The representative of transport employers also said that the municipality in 2012 set the goal of ensuring in several years that 70% of the travellers have access to public transport at a distance of at most 300 meters from their homes, at an interval of 10 minutes. “The average life of the units of transport should be of 8 years, while the oldest vehicles should be under 12 years. All the vehicles, including the minibuses, should be integrated into a common ticketing system with a common ticket valid for all the units of transport during the day. These goals weren’t achieved. Moreover, regression is witnessed. There are areas in the city where there is no public transport.
“The municipal transport will continue to have the minibuses as an important part. It is impossible to achieve these goals without minibuses,” stated Oleg Alexa. He argued the carriers do not invest in the units of transport because the municipality tells them yearly that it will get rid of them.