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Yerevan/Jerewan (Eriwan) [AM] - New Trolleybuses Suffer Mini-Bus Competition

J. Lehmann - 20.08.12

Although 36 new trolleybuses were acquired between 2007 and 2009, the system is still facing competition from a flood of minibuses, which often run parallel to the trolleybus routes. “Private mini-buses are operating on the same stretches of route as the trolleybuses, and often at 5 to minute frequencies, so that our trolleybuses remain empty” complains Henrik Navasardian the city officer for transport. There was optimism in 2010 when total trolleybus traffic rose by 13.9% compared with 2009 to a total of 4,871,500 passengers. Total bus traffic in the city centre also increased by about 2.4%.
There are plans to acquire new trolleybuses. Up to 110 units will be needed in the next few years for the renewal of the fleet. Currently about 90 trolleybuses are in service, of which up to 58 are needed for five routes (1,2,9,10 and 15). A half of the fleet are Skoda 14Tr up to 25 years old. some of which have been decorated and a special design by the drivers themselves, see the first video in this link.
The newly acquired trolleybuses are standard length LiAZ 5280 models. Of the 36 units, number 30 has already been withdrawn because of an accident. Two of the 36 units are type LiAZ 52803 and have low-floor entrances at the front and centre. In addition there are nine Renault/Berliet ER 100 trolleybuses, which were acquired from Lyon in 2005.

Translation: Martin Wright

Number.034, a type LiAZ 5280 trolleybus is seen is seen in service on route 1 on 12.August 2012.
Photographer: Vahe Avetisyan

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