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4 Companies win Marshrutka Tender

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, February 2
A special commission of the Tbilisi Mayor’s office yesterday announced the winners of the tender for the capital’s marshrutka (minibus) routes. The mayor’s office representatives and the winning companies claim this will have no effect on marshrutka fares in the country and that the tender was conducted fairly and transparently. Opposition members however have a different view and are certain this is yet another farce by the authorities and have proof of the accusation.

Tbil-Line Ltd., Capital Group Ltd, Tbil-car Ltd and Public–car Ltd are the four successful companies. They are obliged to bring new minibuses to Tbilisi between October 15, 2011 and October 15, 2012. A memorandum between the companies and the Transport Professional Union has already been signed. The main points of the memorandum are preserving jobs for the drivers and better service provision for Tbilisi residents, “We understand our responsibility upon winning the tender and we are not going to cut the number of drivers,” Tbil- Line representative, Davit Asanidze said.

It was also pointed out that the marshrutka fares would not increase, “We have talked with the winning companies’ representatives and fares will not increase,” Chair of Tbilisi Mayoral Transport service, Akaki Jokhadze, said. However following a meeting with the successful companies Lavrenti Alania, Chair of Transport Professional Unions said one precondition for maintaining current fares was, “if the price of oil does not increase, then the minibus fares will not be changed.”

Tina Khidasheli, representative of the Republican Party called the tender yet another farce. “The different companies which won the tender have been created by one and the same group. Statements that there was a fair environment is a farce, our Mayor decided long ago who would direct the network in Tbilisi.” Khidasheli is surprised that the Commission members did not mention that the companies Tbil-car, Public- car and Tbil- Line were all created on the same day, that their documentations were confirmed by one and the same notary and that the difference in the times of their registration is only five minutes. Khidasheli stressed, “We will not support such a corrupt ruling system.”