Ulaanbaatar public transportation restructure starts

Trans. by D.SERGELEN

Ulaanbaatar City Authority ran a 10 day trial in late August to boost service quality and sufficiency of public transportation in Mongolia. During these 10 days, buses in Ulaanbaatar operated on a shortened route which was followed by widespread criticism from the public.

Deputy Ulaanbaatar Governor N.Gantumur spoke to Undernii Shuudan about traffic congestion and public transportation issues in the capital city.

You were talking about merging state owned BUS-1, BUS-2 and Tsakhilgaan Teever public transportation companies during the meeting of city administrations. How effective do you think this will be?

There were many companies in city development and road user companies before, and these companies were merged into Ulaanbaatar Corporation. This work was performed effectively and one of the things that prove it is the green area development which has increased in the city significantly.

Such as these, we are going to merge public transportation companies and make it a comprehensive and unified system.

Before we merged the companies, we have studied experiences of developed countries and conducted surveys. I hope that merging bus companies will be quite an effective work. We will organize the system starting from October 1.

When will the new smart bus system launch?

The smart transportation or electronic system will be put into action from next April 1. Thus, Mongolian transportation system will meet the world standard. In relation to this project, buses will operate on shortened routes, because we have concluded that the public was satisfied with the 10 day experiment. Many people supported this project and the main reason was the 500 MNT day ticket.

Even though most were satisfied with the work, it brought losses. Will you continue the system regardless?

It is true that we had losses. But people have to understand that this was just an experiment. In other word, even though there are financial losses, the experiment was successful.

Also, introduction and promotion of the project to the public was insufficient, so we have to work on this intensively.

Will there be any increase in bus ticket price, which was 500 MNT during the trial?

The ticket price will be increased but we will try to make it flexible.

What do you mean by flexible?  Could you clarify that?

When we transfer into an electronic system, there will be different options for ticket price. There will be a general set service. For example: family set and etc. Thus, we will work without losses.

University and college students travel in public transportation for free but students of general education schools pay 200 MNT. Since you are already reforming public transportation, shouldn’t general education school students also travel for free?

This issue has to be resolved within the law. The law states students can travel for free so this issue has to be discussed by Parliament.

One of the problems we often face is the road issue. Roads are being built in several directions. How many roads will open before winter?

By September 30, roads in Nisekh and Yarmag will be ready to use, Bayankhoshuu Avenue road is expected to launch by October 30. Bio-Nisekh road will open in November.

In total, 72 kms of roads will open.

What’s planned for the road sector next year?

We have planned to restructure many roads next year, especially roads in Tolgoit, the road to Zuslan and a big repair work from Bayanzurkh Checkpoint to Nalaikh District.

It has been a long time since the Street Project’s launch. In relation to this, four-way intersections were built in many roads. Will the project continue in the future?

We can’t give answers on this because the project is organized by the government and ministries. But the Street Project is essential in Mongolia because it will decrease traffic congestions considerably.

The railbus has started operating last June. It seems to be rather unprofitable. How will you reduce losses?

Approximately 40 to 100 people travel by railbus per day. In order to serve as many as we can, we have to build railways in different directions. In other word, automobiles and railbuses will be operating on the same level. This will increase passengers.


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