The Development of a Transport Information Strategy for Chisinau, Moldova - Lessons for Eastern Europe and Newly Independent States
HAMER L, University of Westminster, UK
The last five years has brought into sharp contrast the development of transport information and 'travel awareness' programmes in Eastern and Western Europe. In many Western European countries, a wide range of organisations are attempting to arrest the de
The last five years has brought into sharp contrast the development of transport information and 'travel awareness' programmes in Eastern and Western Europe. In many Western European countries, a wide range of organisations are attempting to arrest the decline in use of passenger transport, by providing transport information through new technologies and by promoting its use in the workplaces, tourist sites and through 'awareness-raising' promotions to the general public. For many of these organisations, the underlying objective is to reduce the increasing use of the private car and tackle the associated problems of congestion and pollution.
In Eastern Europe generally, and Moldova in particular, the situation is very different. Traffic growth, while increasing, has not reached the levels of most Western countries. Programmes to reduce car use are not considered relevant or necessary. The use of passenger transport is very high and there are problems with overcrowding and fare collection. There has been little investment in new vehicles since the country became an independent state, partly due to lack of revenue, from fares and also because of the wider financial pressures on the economy. Changes are planned to the fares structure and new developments for the network have been proposed but cannot be introduced until new funding is available.
As a result: the quality of the existing services in the capital (Chisinau) is under threat and is likely to reduce public confidence in the passenger transport system as a whole. The role of information and public relations is a fundamental one. There is an opportunity to develop a transport information strategy which will enable the Public Transport Authority and the City Council to promote the continued use of passenger transport to the population, educate them about changes to the systems before they are introduced, and encourage visitors to the capital to become familiar with the network~ as it develops.
This paper will describe a project in Chisinau Moldova, run as part of the INPHORMM (DGVII) project, to develop a transport information strategy, in conjunction with the Public Transport Authority, the City Council and the Technical University. The project runs from December 1991 to September 1998. The objectives of the project are;
- To gather existing baseline data on the transport services available in the City of Chisinau Moldova, including the location of stations and interchanges routes, and frequencies of services and service performance.
- To produce a profile of information available to the public about the passenger transport services on signs, maps, written leaflets and noticeboards and through other channels such as the radio
- To analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the current information system and the opportunities for improving it
- To produce a sample of passenger information such as maps and fare guides and introduce them in pilot sites in the city
- To develop an information and publicity strategy for the passenger transport services in the city and a training manual for operators and public transport managers.
A forum will be established with the public transport operators and the Authority to work together on the project, and build a useful network for the future.
This project will lead to the production of good practice guidelines for other Eastern European countries who are looking to develop transport information systems. These will include an analysis of the cultural, political and organisational issues which need to be addressed and offer some practical advice to link transport information with the development of new transport infrastructure and services.
Association for European Transport