CoMoDe research trip to Uzbekistan

Sher-Dor Madrasa in Samarkand

In October 2021, the CoMoDe project travelled to Uzbekistan for a one-week research, exchange and conference. This event was integrated into a longer fieldwork of our colleague Mariya, who is doing her PhD research on the ongoing public transport reforms in Uzbekistan. Along with collecting valuable and stimulating insights on the transportation regimes in the cities of Samarkand and Tashkent we explored and discussed political, institutional and technical aspects of the transport master-plan, which has been lately developed for Samarkand, as well as prospects and constraints for its implementation.. Together with the St. Petersburg-based consultant transportation company Simetra (which developed the plan) we took part at a conference under the name Planning and Management of Transport Systems in Urban Agglomerations that was hosted by the State University of Transport in Tashkent and with the support of the Ministry of Transport. In our contributions to the conference, we addressed both historical perspectives on public transport development in post-socialist countries as well as the importance of political understanding of public transport and sensitivity towards social issues and local mobility needs during ongoing reforms.

Adding to the official part of our stay, we had the chance to explore in-depth different modes of transportation and their respective infrastructures: we stunned upon soviet metro-stations design, experienced unevenness of the roads on the city outskirts and struggled our way through crowds of people at the Tashkent largest transportation hub. Following that, we had multiple meetings with local civil society activists and transport experts from and outside of Uzbekistan. We had positive encounters with biking and public transportation activists, who care and do their best for the development of a better and not-car dominated infrastructure in Uzbekistan learning about not always easy and legally constrained conditions of their work.

One of the central streets in Samarkand with two major transportation means – the bus and the taxi.
Samarkands’ two-line tram system – a first one that was build anew in the Post-soviet space, yet an example for the arbitrariness of infrastructural decisions in today’s Usbekistan. The Vario-LF streetcars are the leftovers of a well-developed Tashkent’s tram system, which was closed just in 2016.
First working meeting of the CoMoDe team with transport engineers from Simetra and uzbek transport ministry in Samarkands transport administration office
Lyubomir and Mariya ask out Bobur – a young and engaged specialist in the ministry of Transport.
Walking along the Boulevard of Samarkand and discussing the impressions after the working meeting.
Taxis and marshrutkas are the integral part of the customer and goods logistics on the side of Samarkands Grand Bazaar.
Conference in Transport University in Tashkent, Simetra presenting their approach to the development of the transport masterplan for Samarkand.
Wladimir explains the funding system of public transport in Germany.
Exploring the outskirts of Tashkent out of the small Isuzu HC40 together with Sergei.
Old metro station in Tashkent.
New metro station in Tashkent