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Even 100 Drams is Low for Metro Fare: Yerevan Mayor Responds to Complaints

Yerevan mayor Karen Karapetyan published a note on his Facebook page in response to complaints by Yerevan residents on the city’s decision to double subway fares.

“I understand your concerns on raising the metro fare. By not taking this step, we would have endangered all the necessary conditions for ensuring the operation of the subway,” he wrote.

Karapetyan noted that the cost of transporting a single passenger on the metro is 160 drams, which continues to rapidly increase. Recall, the current one-way fare of 50 drams will be increasing to 100 drams starting Jul. 1.

“We won’t be cutting the subsidy to the metro, but we are also unable to increase it, and the growth of the necessary cost of maintaining and developing the metro is quite high. Let me also note that the 100 drams fare [for public transportation] remains the lowest fare among CIS cities. I hope you will approach this issue with understanding,” he wrote.

Recall, in February of this year, deputy finance minister Vardan Aramyan, during the question and answer period in parliament, had said that subways are considered around the world to operate at a loss but a necessary means of transport from a social perspective, which is why 65% is funded from the state budget, while only 35% of revenues come from fares.

Earlier, a Facebook group had been created, with the then-450 members protesting the looming fare hike.

One user, Artur Baghdasaryan, wrote, “A little while later, they’ll tear apart the metro and sell the railway tracks. I won’t be surprised at all if that happens.”

Another Facebook user wrote, “All that’s left is to make the city transport [fares] 200 drams, to be done with it.”

“These guys are complete IDIOTS… let them increase the prices of everything; with which part are they thinking? Let us live in peace… What will be the end of this? … I can’t find the words, I don’t know… Rather, I do find [the words], but I can’t freely express myself, because I would write the worst words… do you understand?” wrote another user by the name of Arturo Sayan.

Facebook user Haykanush Arshakyan proposed a way to protest the city’s decision: don’t take the metro for one week.

“Come, let’s protest by not taking the metro for a week, let’s see what will happen. Perhaps through this way they’ll realize that the fare increase is uncalled-for,” she wrote.