Making Public Transport Efficient Through Institutional, Operational and Infrastructure Improvements

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Public transport system in Yerevan, Armenia’s capital is outdated and less attractive for people to use. Its aging bus fleet with poor and delayed services, and lack of bus priority and integrated ticketing system fail to curtail the rise in car usage. Addressing these issues requires a joined-up approach with infrastructure, operational and institutional enhancements.

Through its ongoing project preparation study (PPS), CDIA is providing advisory services to the Yerevan Municipality (YM) to build its capacity to develop an integrated and sustainable bus network.

“Our advisory support will serve as the basis for Yerevan to operationalize its new integrated urban transport network and put in place measures that will improve the efficiency of its public transport,” says Fabienne Perucca, CDIA Urban Development Specialist in charge of the PPS. “We are past the midway point of the PPS, and we’ve made significant progress together with the city.”

CDIA’s technical assistance started in March 2021 with a high-level review of the earlier study on the New Bus Network and Integrated Tariff and Ticketing System. Out of which, it proposed revisions to optimize the routes planning of the new bus network in Yerevan.

CDIA has drafted strategy documents like the Yerevan Transport Strategy, which identifies ways to develop a modern and fully integrated public transport network for the city based on international best practices, and yet tailored to the context of Yerevan. It has also drafted a Parking Management Strategy to further support the overall transport strategy.

Key to a quality and reliable bus network is increasing the commercial speed and efficiency of the buses. Toward this end, CDIA is helping YM change its approach to planning and infrastructure design to make the network more efficient and inclusive to a wider range of users, including women, elderly and children.

To date, CDIA has produced technical notes and outline designs for interchange points and bus stops, and drawings for the pilot bus priority corridor. Along with training activities, the drawings and technical notes will provide detailed instructions for YM to be able to implement the necessary infrastructure even after the completion of the PPS, to increase the quality and reliability of bus operations in Yerevan. It also gave advisory support to implement a citywide smart, multi-modal ticketing system, a necessary upgrade to enable an integrated network and better experience for passengers.

In terms of air quality monitoring, which is a pilot component of the PPS with transport emissions accounting 90% of the air pollutants in Yerevan, CDIA will soon purchase low-cost sensors to establish the air quality baseline along the pilot bus corridor, and engage both the environment and transport city staff in this exercise.

CDIA has provided further assistance by developing the Institutional and Capacity Development Road Map. It identifies specific activities to be implemented in the short-, medium-, and long-term horizons; and covering key themes such as strategy, regulatory and legal, passenger information, smart ticketing, fleet, bus priority and interchange infrastructure.

A primary recommendation under this aspect is the creation of a transport authority that will manage the functions of the many separate organizations responsible for regulation, ticketing, traffic management, bus service tendering and infrastructure investment, among others. This unified transport body will ensure efficiency across the public transport system and ensure that measures on the ground can be implemented more easily and coordinated well to ensure maximum impact.

“Our various activities are all integrated with one end in mind, which is to make public transport more accessible, integrated and easy to use in Yerevan,” says Fabienne. “Through these, more people could be attracted to using public transport instead of private car, which in turn will help ease congestion and reduce transport-related emissions.”

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