Drivers protest the decommissioning of public transportation microbuses


Over 100 public transportation microbus drivers protested at Chinggis Square on March 15, opposing the Ulaanbaatar Transportation Office and the Traffic Police Department’s decision to decommission transportation microbuses which are 12 years old or older.
“The administrators are mandating us to follow public transportation standards. If they’re asking us to work according to standard, they should ask other public transportation vehicles to follow this standard as well. At this time when the state can’t provide us with jobs, we’re suggesting continuing normal operations and have our vehicles inspected once every season,” said one of the drivers.
The demonstrators said they will take more aggressive protest actions if the Ulaanbaatar Transportation Authority doesn’t make a decision in their favor. Currently, residents of the 23rd khoroo of Bayangol District and 26th khoroo of Songinokhairkhan District are walking three to four kilometers to get to the nearest bus stop as microbuses have stopped operating there.
In late February, the Ministry of Roads and Transportation and General Agency for Specialized Inspection reported that they would be decommissioning 350 public transportation microbuses manufactured before 2003, starting on March 1.
According to Ulaanbaatar Transportation Authority spokesperson D.Bold, vehicles that are 12 years or older are not allowed to be used for public transportation. Approximately 390 public transportation microbuses are registered with the Ulaanbaatar Transportation Authority and 350 of them need to be decommissioned.
The Union of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Owners sent a request to Parliament’s Standing Committee on Petitions, the Ministry of Roads and Transportation, and the Ulaanbaatar General Inspection Agency on February 25, asking for officials to delay the decommissioning of public transportation microbuses until April 1.