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Yerevan City Revs Up Efforts to Improve Public Transport

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Yerevan Municipality has intensified efforts to provide an efficient and more environment-friendly public transport for its one million residents in Armenia’s capital.

It came about as CDIA officially started a project preparation study (PPS) on 3 March 2021 to support the government in its bid to shift to a more sustainable mobility.

“CDIA’s support comprises advisory services to build the overall capacity of the city to operationalize their new network and develop the key features of their planned integrated bus network,” says Urban Development Specialist and Project Manager Fabienne Perucca.

Majority of city residents use public transport. While the city has started to upgrade the buses, trolleys and minibuses have continued to operate in poor conditions, thus, posing significant safety concerns.

Air pollution has also become a key problem for the city with transport emissions accounting 90% of the air pollutants in the area. A huge proportion of dust is likewise present in the atmosphere due to extensive deforestation; as high concentration of ground ozone, especially in summer, results in smog.

The city government has taken steps to pursue environment-friendly measures and improve the efficiency of its public transport system. Among their plans include the implementation of a new integrated urban transport network and the purchase of a fleet of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) 12-metre buses that will run on the future network.

“We hope to work alongside our Yerevan counterparts to lay the groundwork and propose recommendations that will help turn their plans into reality,” says Fabienne.

CDIA’s first step as part of the PPS was to do a comprehensive review of Yerevan’s transport sector, including the existing city development plans and donor programs. Their team of technical experts also assessed how air quality is being monitored in the city, being a pilot component of the PPS.

An inception workshop with key stakeholders was held on 30 March 2021. Based on the analysis of the issues and gaps in Yerevan’s transport and the stakeholders’ confirmation of the next steps of the PPS, the CDIA team will work closely with the city to pursue the following policy recommendations and transport operation enhancement measures:

    • Preparation of an overarching public transport strategy along with more detailed sub-strategies covering public transport, taxi regulation and parking management;
    • Optimization of the new bus network design and operational efficiency;
    • Improvement of intermodal connectivity;
    • Development of integrated and systematic ticketing and fare system;
    • Advisory services on the set up of a traffic management control center;
    • Preparation of institutional and capacity development roadmap towards a more efficient management of transport; and
    • Pilot activities to upgrade air quality monitoring and protection.

The CDIA team will also develop preliminary engineering design of the system’s transfer points and Phase I of bus priority lanes; as well as guidelines for the bus stop designs. These will enable the new buses to start operating in an efficient and high-quality manner.

Due to COVID-related travel restrictions, CDIA has initiated for the first time a PPS under a mixed arrangement of remote and in-person working. Under this scheme, national experts coordinate the activities on-the-ground while international experts provide constant advice and oversee the PPS from their respective country offices.

“We are closely tracking the implementation of this new set up, and we’re doing our best to keep the momentum of the project in coordination with our local partners,” says Fabienne. “We’ve seen the dedication of our technical team and we’re happy with the strong commitment of the Yerevan Municipality to make this ‘new normal’ work.”

“After the successful inception workshop, we remain committed to collectively find means to accomplish the deliverables of the PPS in the coming months,” she concludes.

 

Photos during the kick off meeting with stakeholders (3 March 2021):

 

Photos during the inception workshop with stakeholders (30 March 2021):

 

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