Position Papers
Inga Grdzelishvili and Roger Sathre
Cooperation for a Green Future (Georgia)
Published in
Submitted by
Peter Midgley, gTKP
Related theme(s)
Urban Mobility
Eastern Europe, Caucasus, and Central Asia (EECCA)

Towards more effective urban transport policy: Understanding the travel behavior of Tbilisi residents

In recent decades the public transport network in Tbilisi, Georgia has decayed, while the number of private automobiles has increased dramatically. This study seeks to expand our understanding of the Tbilisi population’s urban transport behavior, on the proposition that residents’ attitudes could form obstacles, but also suggest solutions to transport problems. It elaborates on the perceived strengths, weaknesses, and potentials of the public transport system, and seeks to understand the reasons for the increased use of private automobiles. A questionnaire survey was conducted among Tbilisi car drivers (n=159) and public transport users (n=163). The survey data were supplemented by cooperative dialogue with Tbilisi municipal transport policymakers. The results show that most of the survey respondents preferred to use a private car and avoid using public transport. Particularly important factors include time issues such as schedules and frequency, and comfort and safety issues. Tbilisi residents value their time and want to use it efficiently. Changing residents’ travel behavior will require making the public transport options competitive with the perceived advantages of the car. The study offers recommendations for more effective urban transport policy, including incentives to encourage greater use of public transport in Tbilisi.