DUSHANBE, October 6, Asia-Plus - Issues related to public transport services were major topics of a meeting of Dushanbe Mayor, Mahmadsaid Ubaidulloyev, with representatives of a number of the Dushanbe media that was held in the building of the mayor’s office today.  

Reminding that the authorities banned natural gas as fuel for vehicles,  the mayor noted that at present some 60 percent of fixed-route taxies (minivans) in the city do not work.  Earlier, up to 2,000 fixed-route taxies daily ran in the city.  

Ubaidulloyev stressed that the public transport is currently operating at a lose, and state is not capable to meet the public transport requirements completely.  “Some 3,000 vehicles are needed to completely meet requirements of residents of Dushanbe in public transport,” the mayor said, adding that some 700 vehicles of that amount could be state-run.  

Over the past six years, the Dushanbe administration has purchased more than 500 vehicles for the public transportation services worth some 70 million somonis.  “Today, we have to purchase another 1,000 vehicles that will cost 720 million somonis while the city''s annual budget amounts to 100 million somonis,” the mayor noted.  

Dwelling on the public transport fares, Ubaidulloyev said that they will be reviewed at least twice a year in future.  

The mayor also ordered to prepare a draft decision on introduction of ticket system of serving passengers in 2007.   

Ubaidulloyev called on media to cooperate in tackling problems facing the city.  “Mass media participating in formation of public opinion and civil position should be unbiased and do not have unilateral position in the coverage of events,” the mayor said.