30 January 2007
The quality and management of public transportation is one of the permanent challenges facing any metropolitan center. In the conditions of the intensive development that the city of Tirana is going through, it became evident that public transportation, already a decentralized function of the local government units, should become the object of well designed research and studies in order to identify the problems, priorities and possible solutions towards rationalization as the pre-requisite for a more effective service. As a follow up in a series of activities, the Institute for the Development of Habitat (Co-Plan) and the Network of Open Society for Albania (NOSA) organized on 30 January the Seminar “Improving public transportation in the region of Tirana”. The organizers introduced the findings and results from the implementation of the project “Inter commune cooperation and regional development”. Specifically, this seminar was to present the findings of questionnaires from the region of Tirana.
The participants, i.e. leaders and experts from the Prefecture and the Municipality of Tirana, the Institute for Transport Studies, members of NGOs and environment leaders discussed on the necessity of consolidating public services in the region in order to avoid fragmentation. They appreciated unanimously the setting up of a Metropolitan Authority for Tirana for the purpose of enforcing standardized services for citizens. The greatest advantage of having such an authority is to relieve the heavy traffic in Tirana and to reduce pollution levels by 25 per cent. The Co-Plan survey involved more than 2000 people. Non-users of public transport responded by an overwhelming 60 per cent that they would use public transportation if improvements were made. According to the same study, each citizen lost 185 working days while waiting for public transportation and about 1500 leks per month in the cases when they made use of it.
This study was part of the NOSA project for Co-Plan funded by OSFA under the program area of “Good Governance and Rule of Law”.