Turkmenistan’s provinces experience a shortage of bus routes

A few years ago, when new passenger buses had arrived in Ashgabat, old vehicles were handed over to velayats' centres. Because of vehicle wear and tear and a deficit of spare parts, the passenger bus service in Turkmenabad (formerly, Chardzhou), Mary and other major cities leaves much to be desired.

There are 17 city bus routes in Turkmenabad, 6 � in Balkanabad, but no regular timetabled service is available. People have to wait for their buses, which run irregularly and are often overcrowded, for a long time.

Residents of Turkmenabad complain that bus route 5, which runs along Konstanova street and is in demand, operates poorly. The bus routes, which run along Niyazova street, operate better but the service is irregular.

The route bound for Farab health resort is in demand, but there is no bus service for this destination. People who come to the health resort from all over the country waste a lot of time to get from Turkmenabad station to the resort and back.

Moreover, bus routes, connecting etrap centres with rural areas, are not available. They used to function in the past and were popular with passengers.

Ioleten's inhabitants say there are actually no bus stops in their city. Bus drivers stop on passengers' request. This is especially noticeable in the buses which run to the square near the station. Sometimes they make only two to three journeys a day. The bus fare is 1 manats compared to the nation-wide public transport dare of 0,50 manats. Private taxi drivers, who are aware of the appalling situation with public transport routes, charge 5 manats.

Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan