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How did the Marshrutka (mini bus) drivers’ strike affect you and what do you think of the possible price increase?

Monday, February 28
“I had to wait about 40 minutes for the Marshrutka on Friday morning before I realized there was something going on, then I went to the bus stop and the bus was so overcrowded I hardly managed to get on it. It was really crazy that day. As for a possible price increase, I think it was expected, because prices have gone up for every product.”
Nana, interpreter, 26

“I usually go to work by bus so the Marshrutka drivers’ strike did not affect me that much, however I heard many of my friends complaining about it. An increase of Marshrutka fee will of course affect the budget of many families.”
Tatia, shop assistant, 23

“Half of my salary now will be going to pay for the Marshrutka fee. It is not fair, there should be some levers to regulate these kinds of issues, otherwise it will be impossible to make ends meet from month to month.”
Ineza, cook, 54

“There have been very few marshrutkas in Tbilisi for the last few days and it is really difficult for me. I need two buses to get home from my university and it’s not fair that I have to stand in the freezing cold and wait for the relevant number for half an hour each day. But I definitely understand the drivers – they object to the attitude of the state and we, the citizens should encourage them.”
Gia, Student, 21

“Well this strike hasn’t affected me because I’m enjoying my winter holidays at home. But if the prices increase it would be another hit on Georgian people facing poverty.”
Guram, Doctor, 26

“Well I had to walk in the cold weather and I can say it was really irritating for me. As for the possible price increase I doubt it is inevitable and don’t see the reason for it. It’s up to Tbilisi City Hall to think over the issue and I hope they will do so.”
Sophio, Interpreter, 31

“It really badly effected on me. I live far from metro stations and my only means of transport I can use is Marshrutka, I need two different marshrutkas to get to my house. If the Marshrutka fee is increased it would be very harmful for me, I am categorically against it. There are a lot of people who need to change transport several times a day and they will have to pay more than half of their income for the transport fee, which is really unacceptable.”
Nino, teacher, 36

“Well, I don’t need the Marshrutka. I use bus to travel, however my father needs a mini bus to get to his working place and the strike affected him. These days he has to go by taxi, which is an expensive means of transport and he is really unhappy. As for the increase of Marshrutka fee, I don’t support it of course, everything has turned very expensive in the country and in such a difficult economic situation, raising of the Marshrutka price would be a harmful decision.”
Goga, Painter, 26

“I have a car and this fact did not effect on me, however I feel sorry for these people. This is really a very tiresome and very needed job, at the same time, when there are no working places in the country, each man tries to preserve them and the authorities should also support them instead of increasing the fees.”
Zurab, Bank Employee, 31