On December 13, Alisher Kadirov, the vice-speaker of the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis and leader of the Milliy Tiklanish (“National revival”) party, suggested at the government meeting that it is necessary to popularize public transport to reduce traffic congestion. During the session, Minister of Transport Ilkhom Mahkamov presented a report.

Kadirov emphasized that transportation serves as the lifeblood of the economy, and economic progress hinges on resolving issues in this sector. To address challenges such as traffic congestion, air pollution, and environmental protection, he stressed the need to offer the public accessible and affordable public transportation. Additionally, he expressed the belief that certain services for private cars should be made more expensive.

“Today we are working hard to solve the problem of public transportation, and substantial work is underway. But, Ilkhom Rustamovich, no matter how much effort we put into public transportation, we will not achieve our goal if we cannot solve the issue of private transport status… Given that the number of private cars has grown fivefold in Uzbekistan over the past ten years, it is becoming a big threat,” he commented.

MP highlighted that the affordability of purchasing cars is expected to increase after initiation of alignment with the WTO framework in Uzbekistan. This will make car acquisition even more affordable and exacerbate traffic congestion, becoming a significant complication for the economy and public life in the country.

“It is already an issue… For example, if you look at the experience of China, it is not difficult to buy a car there due to the WTO requirements. However, whether it is parking, taxation or toll roads — car maintenance services are quite costly. The same is the case for Singapore. The problem of traffic jams has been resolved by increasing the cost of using private transportation,” Kadirov noted.

The parliamentarian suggested that the minister of transport consider this issue and formulate proposals on the ten-year development plan for transportation.

In his opinion, the number of private cars is growing rapidly since it is easy to buy one in the country. Operational expenses are not significant, and no additional payments for transportation are imposed.

“Our transport minister should come up with solid proposals on providing affordable, convenient, and well-organized public transportation… Private transportation does not necessarily have to be accessible to everyone whenever they wish. We can achieve this through the convenience of public transportation. If we make public transport more convenient, people will be discouraged from opting for private transportation,” Alisher Kadirov stated.

In mid-November, representatives of various entities gathered in the Legislative Chamber. They discussed the issues of traffic jams in Tashkent, development of public transportation, urban green initiatives, and more. Gazeta.uz covered insights shared by speakers, including our journalist, an ecologist and an urbanist.