Tbilisi Introduces Restricted Hours for Large Vehicle Movement to Ease Traffic
The Tbilisi City Hall has proposed a bill, now in its third reading in Parliament, to restrict the movement of large vehicles in the city during peak hours. As per the bill, vehicles classified under categories M3, N2, and N3 will be prohibited from using public highways within Tbilisi’s administrative boundaries from 08:00-11:00 and 17:00-20:00.
Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze, addressing the capital's government meeting, emphasized the importance of this policy in improving urban transport conditions. "Since 2017, we've implemented several reforms aimed at enhancing public transport, including updating buses, modernizing the metro, and introducing a zonal parking system. However, the increasing number of private vehicles, approximately 650,000 in Tbilisi, significantly contributes to traffic congestion, especially during rush hours. The larger vehicles, due to their size, not only add to these traffic jams but also increase the risk of accidents and delays," explained Kaladze.
The restriction, however, will not be city-wide but will target specific areas prone to heavy traffic during peak times. The law also stipulates that the restrictions will not apply on Saturdays, Sundays, public holidays as defined by the Labor Code, and in the month of August.
Kaladze also outlined exceptions to this rule, which include public transportation vehicles, vehicles involved in municipal or state infrastructure projects, vehicles transporting pupils and students, and those necessary for tourist activities.
Violations of this new regulation will incur fines—1,000 GEL for the first offense and 3,000 GEL for subsequent offenses.
Acknowledging the potential impact on the economy and businesses, particularly in the construction sector, Kaladze highlighted that multiple discussions with business associations and sector representatives have taken place to address concerns. "The construction sector plays a crucial role in our economy, and we aim to implement these changes without causing significant delays or damage to businesses and potential buyers," he stated.
Concluding his address, Mayor Kaladze directed the Vice Mayor to engage in further discussions with the concerned sectors to finalize and balance the proposed regulations for approval by the Tbilisi City Council.