Drivers protest inequality
By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, April 27Bus and minibus drivers demanded yesterday that a Turkish company, Metro, leave the Georgian market. They held a protest at the Ortachala bus station in Tbilisi.
According to protesters, Metro implements tourist routes throughout Georgia and creates an unequal environment for small companies.
“Metro is a Turkish transport company. It conducts internal routes in Georgia. We cannot compete with it. Therefore, we are at serious risk of being rendered unemployed,” one of the protesters said.
They threaten to hold large-scale protests if their demands are not met.
Later, one protester was detained by police as the drivers blocked a main road and did not allow a Metro-owned bus to leave the station.
The blockade was opened as a result of police’s efforts and one person was detained.
The Metro bus left the station in order to complete its Tbilisi-Batumi route.
Unfortunately, the public transportation field is not regulated in Georgia, and the issue of busses and minibuses is always painful as successive Georgian Governments have failed to settle the problems surrounding them.
Passengers do not even have any information as to whether the transport they use on a daily basis has had relevant safely checks carried out.
However, even the noise that buses produce and the pollution exhibits the poor conditions of the vehicles .
It has become a type of tradition that until something bad takes place, everything is all right; this approach risks people’s lives.
The Government must somehow create regulations that will make the situation stable and oppose monopolies on the market.
Local companies and employees should not be affected, especially when Georgia suffers such a high rate of unemployment.
On the other hand, Georgian drivers must also think more about their passengers and offer better prices and conditions, as there are frequent czses when transport is untidy and dirty, as well as drivers stopping the vehicle where they want, and sometimes even smoking inside the cars.