Company operating mini-buses in Tbilisi requests increase in fare

Tbilisi Minibus Company says that they will not be able to replace the current fleet without the increase in fare. Photo: RFE/RL., 05 Dec 2019 - 16:57, Tbilisi,Georgia

 Tbilisi Minibus company, which has been operating a yellow mini bus fleet (marshutkas) in the capital city since 2011  has requested Tbilisi City Hall to allow the increase in current fare by 20-30 tetries for them to replace outdated vehicles and ensure better service.

The appeal comes after the demand of Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze regarding the replacement of the mini-bus fleet as “they are polluting the environment and are not comfortable for passengers.”

The company leadership says that they invested 62 million USD in the vehicles back in 2011 and had plans to replace the fleet by 2018.

However, due to the sharp devaluation of the national currency we have already suffered more than 100 million GEL loss. We will not be able to replace the fleet if the fare remains unchanged,” the company head David Asanidze told the Radio Liberty.

Current fare for one-way travel, on long routes, is 80 tetris and on short routes – 50 tetris.

Drivers told the media outlet that they have to pay 60 GEL to the company on a daily basis for using the vehicles.

Tbilisi City Hall has not yet responded to the request.

Last week Kaladze instructed his deputy to hold negotiations with Tbilisi Minibus company to present a plan in a two-week time regarding the replacement of the current fleet of marshutkas.