Tajikistan: New Mayor’s Reign Begins With Transport Fiasco
When the president of Tajikistan earlier this year appointed his son to become mayor of the capital, Dushanbe, he urged him to be a listening and compassionate leader.
Going by Rustam Emomali’s first actions in office, the advice does not appear to have made an impact.
Emomali has set his sights on overhauling the city’s transportation system, but the efforts are generating much misery.
On April 12, Dushanbe received a consignment of 40 large-capacity buses manufactured by Turkey’s Andalou Isuzu. Another 25 units are to be delivered in the summer. The cost of buying all those buses has set the government back around 3.4 million euros — 85,000 euros a pop.
The first buses will begin their routes in Dushanbe of April 15.
In conjunction with bringing these buses into commission, Dushanbe authorities have also been stepping up efforts to stamp out the so-called “three somoni” taxis that many people use to get around. For the last five years or so, these informally run shared taxis have operated a little like buses, running along established routes around the center of the city and charging people three somoni ($0.35) per ride.
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