Krasnodar, 15 July.The city authorities in Krasnodar are planning to change the service system of some passenger routes to gross contracts. The Mayor’s Office explains that the new system is, first of all, aimed at curbing the rise in the fares and renewal of the rolling stock.
At present, the fares applied in the city’s public transport are unregulated, that is the carriers themselves can establish the prices. When the gross contracts system is applied, the price of the fare will be adjusted by the municipality, and the carriers will be receiving money for mileage whatever the passenger traffic can be. The travel cost in this case is higher – for instance, if it is 50 roubles, then 35 roubles are paid by a passenger, and the rest is covered by the municipality. The new tariff covers the cost of the new buses that the carrier may buy.
In addition to the renewed public buses, citizens who regularly use public transport would like the new system because it offers a convenient ‘ticket menu.’
“At the very least, it is a time-based travel pass, that is, a passenger during a certain period of time will be able to do an unlimited number of transfers when travelling in the city. The gross contracts system helps passengers save money on bus travels,” Marina Repeshchuk, Head of the Transport Initiative public movement, commented. Besides, President of the Kuban Union of Transport Workers Ivan Petrov said that gross contracts make it possible to find the contractors for commercially unprofitable routes.
Gross contracts look quite attractive for the drivers too. Marina Repeshchuk gave an example of Novokuznetsk where this system was introduced and it occurred that the novelty helps retain the personnel of transport companies due to the rising wages.
All our experts stated that efficient introduction of the new system would depend upon dedicated lanes. Ivan Petrov said that “the shift to gross contracts should be accompanied with creation of dedicated lanes. Without that, nothing will work, and the population will continue to be unhappy with the public transport.”
It is planned that gross contracts will be introduced in Krasnodsar in 2025–2026, but the personnel outflow is being observed now, so the problem must be resolved as soon as possible.
With all advantages, the gross contracts system also has a number of drawbacks. In new conditions, when carriers are paid for the mileage, their employees are not interested to collect the fare which may lead to a drop in the revenues. Besides, this system may not protect against the problems with renewing the rolling stock.
“Indeed, at first new large buses will take the route, but the renewal of the vehicles should be regular,” Ivan Petrov explained. “As for gross contracts, they stipulate that the buses would be renewed only when the contract is bided, but then the new buses are used for ten years. That is, on the tenth year of the contract, when it expires, all buses in the city will be old and most probably worn out.”
The expert believes that gross contracts should not cover all public transport. This system is worth applying for unprofitable routes which are not popular among the carriers.
Another problem may be that Krasnodar carriers will not be able to take part in gross contract competitions because they do not have an experience of work under the Federal Law No. 44 “On contract system.”