Since yesterday, "Kyiv-style minibuses" have been running along the streets of the capital: with air conditioning, ramps and information about the driver. Rogue songs and colorful posters in the salons are a thing of the past.
It is already possible to visit Europe without leaving the capital by simply taking route No. 150, along which Volvo Hybrid buses run.
112ua.tv checked the updated route and is ready to tell you what exactly has changed for the people of Kyiv and why in fact the Ukrainian consumer may not see European passenger transportation soon.
Shake off vs take a ride
You are in an average Kyiv minibus. It's 32 degrees outside, you are wearing a mask, and your head starts to spin a little. There is air conditioning in the cabin, but it does not work, the carrier decided to save fuel costs. But there are wide open windows, which, due to the crowd and frequent traffic jams, absolutely do not save. At the same time, loud music "presses" on you - the driver has his own atmosphere. He generally feels at home: he works half-naked under his favorite rogue songs, holding the steering wheel with one hand and a cigarette with the other.
Soon your stop, now you need to gather forces together and ask the driver to stop. Only because of the crowd, music or other human factor, he does not hear you. The bus continues on its route, and you return to "passenger hell" to the next stop.
This is how public transport can be characterized, and, without exaggeration, at least one of these "aspects" of Ukrainian passenger traffic is experienced by thousands of Kyivans every day. The Kyiv authorities claim that the era of "total discomfort" has come to an end.
Kyiv City State Administration has developed an agreement "On the organization of passenger transportation on public city bus routes" and forced to sign it those carriers who want to work in the capital. According to the deputy chairman of the Kyiv City State Administration Kostyantin Usov, the agreement marked a fundamentally new approach to the provision of passenger transportation services in Kyiv. After all, its provisions significantly expand the subject of control of carriers by the city and determine the real, not formal standards for the provision of these services.
"For example, the clause on the presence of an air conditioner in the cabin, which had existed for decades, did not at all mean its serviceability. Moreover, the serviceability of the air conditioner did not mean that it was turned on, because the carriers preferred to save on fuel consumption. This was an example of a formal approach," Usov said.
Now the subject of control will not be the presence of an air conditioner, but the maximum temperature regime that carriers must ensure in the cabin: no more than 22 degrees in summer, and at least 15 degrees in winter.
The contract prohibits any noise (music) or visual (posters, CDs, toys) pollution of the vehicle interior. It is also indicated that the bus must be equipped with at least 5 stop buttons on demand, and behind the driver's cab there must be a city-specific poster with information about the carrier and the driver himself.
We are going in a new minibus
One of the carriers, LLC "Trans-City", is already operating under the new requirements. In particular, it serves route No. 150, which has become the most popular in recent days. And for good reason.
13 used (purchased in Luxembourg) hybrid buses Volvo 7700 Hybrid (a bus with a low floor, which was produced between 1999 and 2012) are working on the route.
The buses are equipped with air conditioning, ramps, special buttons for communication between the driver and passengers, and the visual information is duplicated in English. For the average passenger, nothing betrays their age other than the used seats.
There is enough space in the cabin and the ride is quite soft. As for the air conditioner, there are some nuances: it is actually cool in the bus, and when it comes time to go outside, there is a sharp temperature drop. This can lead to a deterioration in well-being.
The drivers are dressed in a special uniform from the carrier (on this route, this is a branded white T-shirt). Without gloss, but it looks stylish. The only thing that reminds you that you are in Ukraine is money baskets. PayPass? No, we don’t have it.
So far there are more questions than answers
Considering that there are more than 300 public transport routes in Kyiv today, the renewal of buses on 10 of them seems like a drop in the ocean. Moreover, it is difficult to imagine how much time must pass for a complete "update" of the Kyiv land passenger transport, because the old minibuses with the conditions of "passenger hell" will not go anywhere until the term of their contracts expires. That is, they will continue to travel the streets of the capital on preliminary conditions.
There are questions as to who and how will control the fulfillment of the terms of the contract by the carriers. Who will be the "big brother" who will report the violation of the temperature regime, and will they be punished for some music?
It is also unknown what will happen to those routes on which carriers simply refuse to work. They will simply be closed, given to a utility carrier, or maybe they will simply be left to those carriers that do not meet the new conditions?
In response to these and many other questions, 112ua.tv has already made an official request to the Kyiv City State Administration and personally to the Deputy Chairman of it Kostyantyn Usov. We hope that the city authorities will provide answers to the problematic questions that concern the people of Kyiv.