Green CIVIL spoke with the Director of the Skopje Public Transport Enterprise, Blerim Ismaili, about the role of public transportation in preserving the environment, and this public enterprise’s representation of green values. Ismaili reflected on the new 33 eco-busses that meet the highest technological standards, which were put into use last month.
The new 33 busses of the Skopje Public Transport Enterprise, after a longer time of waiting due to the pandemic caused by the coronavirus, have finally made the image of the City of Skopje nicer, says Ismaili.
It’s worth mentioning that 12 of those busses, so-called “accordions” can transport up to a maximum of 149 passengers, while 21 are ordinary busses with a capacity of up to 85 passengers.
These busses meet the highest technological standards when it comes to public transportation, as they are busses from the EURO 6 category.
Ismaili adds that these busses in some countries in Europe have been selected as busses of 2016, while in Germany they are known as the Blue Angels, because they release far less carbon dioxide and don’t pollute the air at all.
-Because of these reasons, these busses are already part of the public transportation in Spain, Norway, Hungary and Poland.
Before these busses were part of the traffic in Skopje, the City of Skopje came to a conclusion after testing three different models of busses from different manufacturers, including also the MAN model, and according to passengers and analyses, that they are the most suitable bus for public transportation in Skopje.
Another reason is that one MAN eco bus saves the Public Transport Enterprise up to 25 thousand euros annually in fuel, in other words, if we compare them with the old busses that we have, the eco bus consumes almost twice less fuel, with which it saves part of the expenses, but the main benefit is that at the same time these eco busses contribute to cleaning the air in Skopje, as they don’t pollute at all.
The interior of the busses is modern and comfortable for passengers. In addition to the ticket validators, there are also phone chargers in some of the busses.
Unfortunately, we had several cases where elderly passengers with various objects tried to remove the phone chargers, because of which the Skopje Public Transport Enterprise was forced to report to the MOI, where they took appropriate measures. Again, I would like to appeal that because the Skopje Public Transport Enterprise with its busses are an integral part of the image of Skopje, the citizens should be part of the process of their maintenance and in no case should damage them, because this is prohibited by law and is punishable.
I would like to outline that the Skopje Public Transport Enterprise is in an active way involved in the action for prevention against the spread of the coronavirus. How? Through flyers translated in Albanian and Macedonian, where passengers are asked to use certain seats for the purpose of maintaining a safe distance. In accordance to the decision of the Ministry of Health and the government, the current capacity of the busses cannot be exceeded by more than 50%.
Furthermore, another joint decision of the Ministry of Health, the government and the Skopje Public Transport Enterprise is that passengers must wear masks, otherwise they will not be allowed to enter the busses.
I would like to assure the citizens that this decision or law for using masks in public transportation is not present just in the RNM. Recently, for a month already, it is also present as a law in Great Britain, that is, citizens of England must wear masks when using public transportation. I would like to ask for one thing, the citizens should take care of the busses because it is their treasure, they make the image of the city more beautiful and in one way or another send the message that the City of Skopje together with the citizens know how to take care of the environment and ecology of Skopje.
Text, editing and photography: Arian Mehmeti
Translation: Natasa Cvetkovska
This post is also available in: Macedonian