Traffic Congestion in Ulaanbaatar City
AMCHAM MONGOLIA APPLAUDS SHORT-TERM SOLUTIONS TO
TRAFFIC CONGESTION IN ULAANBAATAR CITY
During the meeting of the National Committee on Balanced Urban and Rural Development and Traffic Congestion, on August 30, a working group led by Deputy Mayor of Ulaanbaatar B. Odsuren presented 15 short-term proposals for resolving traffic congestion in Ulaanbaatar.
The working group estimates that increasing the number of people using public transportation by 50 percent could cut down on traffic jams by 30 percent. To do this, the group believes that it’s important to renovate the public bus park and introduce a high-capacity light rail transit (LRT) system funded by public-private investment. The government plans to upgrade public transportation vehicles in stages from 2021 to 2024.
The working group also proposed allowing only left-hand drive cars in Ulaanbaatar by 2028, raising the import tax on vehicles used for more than seven years by 2022, and improving loan terms for buying new cars next year.
The working group made the following short-term recommendations for reducing traffic congestion:
- Introduce an electronic certification system for vehicles. With the introduction of an integrated traffic management system and electronic vehicle certification, vehicles that have not paid taxes and fees, or have not been inspected, will not be allowed to operate.
- Extend the hours of public transportation by operating buses from 5:30 a.m. to midnight
- Ensure the implementation of the driving restriction based on license plate numbers
- Promptly resolve accident reports
- Improve and raise fines for traffic violations
- Promote the e-police application
- Create car-free streets
- Integrate parking lots in the e-certificate parking system
- Open entrances and exits blocking roads
- Make business hours of the entities flexible
- Re-engineer intersections and increase their capacity.
The working group expects that if the implementation of these proposals starts next month, traffic congestion could be reduced by 13 percent to 18 percent. Over the past 10 years, traffic congestion is estimated to have caused losses of 11.8 trillion MNT, or 4.1 billion USD. According to a survey conducted in February 2021, 85 percent of survey participants emphasized the need to resolve traffic congestion, and to address issues related to public transportation services and the availability of parking spaces.
Since 2017, AmCham Mongolia’s Auto & Machinery Committee has been organizing “Eco-friendly auto industry” forums in collaboration with Ministry of Transport Development, Ministry of Construction and Urban Development, the Ulaanbaatar City Mayor’s Office, and MADA to discuss the critical issues of the auto industry including traffic congestion, air pollution, old and new car tax policies, RHD vehicle issues, recycling of old car batteries, environmental protection, fuel quality and standards and developing the policy recommendations and submitted them to Prime Minister, Minister of Road and Transport Development, the Ulaanbaatar City Mayor, and other relevant officials.
AmCham Mongolia endorses these short-term solutions to traffic congestions and challenges that the government will take the lead in implementing them boldly as soon as possible