Fleets of buses running on dedicated bus lanes

There you have it: fleets of buses running on dedicated bus lanes. Bucharest’s traffic problems solved. Thank you and goodnight.

It’s not quite that simple, but it would be a huge step forwards. As we’ve said many times before, you can’t expect the good people of Bucharest to give up using their cars until you offer them a viable alternative. And right now, unless you are lucky enough to live close to a metro station and work close to another metro station, public transport in Bucharest is not a viable alternative. Public transport in the Romanian capital is crap. There is no other way of saying it.

As such, laudable initiatives such as that launched recently by PNL senator Valeriu Todirascu, who wants to ensure that drivers leave enough space (two metres, no less) for pedestrians when parking on the pavement, are futile. As long as people drive into the city centre, they will need a place to park. Preventing them from parking on the pavement is placing the cart before the horse somewhat.

Besides, as much as we would like to see the drivers of badly parked cars punished, there is currently very little the authorities can do, even in the case of dickheads who park on tramlines, pedestrian crossings or in front of school entrances. For a couple of years now (ever since the PSD changed the law) local councils have not had the power to remove cars – even when they are directly causing a blockage. Indeed, the only sanction the police can apply is a measly fine of between 100-500 lei. Even then, the police have to hand the fine to the driver in person and carry out a proces verbal. As the entire Bucharest police force can’t spend all day standing next to badly parked cars waiting for their drivers indefinitely, few fines get handed out.

One solution is the use of wheel clamps, which – as we know from experience – are very much in use in Constanta. Clamps however only offer a solution when cars are not blocking traffic or pedestrian access, as most badly parked cars in Bucharest are. Clamps might work in the provinces; in the capital, removal is the only option.

Then there are the fines.

Let’s be honest, the vast majority of drivers who block traffic – rich kids and their parents – are not worried in the slightest about paying the current fine, even at the top end, of 500 lei. Such a fine offers no detterent at all.

Instead, the penalty for having your car towed away should be losing your license: 30 days for the first offence, 90 days (the maximim allowed under the law) for the second and subsequent offences. That – even for the rich kids – is a real deterrent.

Yet to return to our fleets of buses: there has to be both carrot and stick. There is no point introducing anti-parking legislation until you offer drivers a real alternative: fleets of buses running on bus lanes.

Not all day (there is no need). Merely from 07:00-10:00 and again from 16:30-19:00, Monday to Friday. During these times there should be dedicated bus (and taxi) lanes in operation on all major streets (indeed, any street with two or more lanes in each direction). That’s a large number of Bucharest streets. Additionally, bus services which run on these lanes should be far more frequent than they are now: every two-three minutes, not every ten minutes or so as now.


48 thoughts on “Fleets of buses running on dedicated bus lanes

  1. First we should scrap the cycling lanes.

    And then – on the place we’ve eliberated – we can build bus lanes, ambulance lanes and taxi lanes. Which is quite a good idea because economic activity in the city is the most important.

    People need to get on and off work efficiently.


    1. The cycle lanes should stay, although not always where they are now (on the pavement, mostly). They are far too often placed will nilly with no real thought as to practicality, neither for the cyclist, the motorist nor the pedestrian.


    2. Roller skate lanes are needed too! Could even have a taxi boat service going up and down that river which flows through the centre of Bucharest?


      1. I always said the Bucharest – Danube channel needs to be build and the river Dambovita that flows through the center of Bucharest needs to be set up for navigation.

        That would bring huge economic development for the city.

        That’s what we need in this city: a mayor to get major things done, not the likes of Nicusor Dan who only know how to block and destroy.

        If I were a mayor, Bucharest would look like Dubai and Las Vegas combined.


      2. Would it? The Danube – Black Sea Canal is a white elephant and has been since it opened in the 80s. Very little traffic. Why would a Bucharest – Danube Canal be any different?


      3. Craig we’ve been through this discussion before, keeping 10 million tons off that cernavoda-Constanta corridor, which it does is hardly a white elephant, and I for one cant wait for the Danube link, look to Budapest Belgrade Vienna or Bratislava to see how much city freight is shifted for an indication.


      4. “If I were a mayor, Bucharest would look like Dubai and Las Vegas combined.”……………Still looks today a lot like Basingstoke 1980’s.


  2. I think the initiative is just one in a myriad of changes known collectively as “PMUD” – “Planul de mobilitate urbana durabila” (“Sustainable urban mobility plan”?), which you can find here: http://www.cjilfov.ro/upload2/BI_SUMP_Final_RO_revizuit_CJIRATB.pdf

    There is no silver bullet solution to solve the traffic problem of Bucharest, but a complex set of inter-dependent solutions, which are outlined in the above document, and which is currently offered for public consultation. The next session with the public is actually this coming Saturday, from 10:00 am, at Facultatea de Transporturi (Universitatea Politehnica Bucuresti).


      1. There’s a big ugly bulldung of a monument dumped outside of the old Whispers/Expirat club Brezoianu. Get rid of that first if you want to free up some much needed space!


      2. Getting rid of big ugly buildings could free up half of the city for more infrastructure. Just imagine what you could do!


      3. I think we should scrap all pre-1945 buildings, except for the palaces that can be sold for profit.

        No other city in Romania has this problem of old buildings and they have less to worry about.


  3. Agree with ALL of Craig’s ideas for making things better for public transport … but I have to be honest, it’s not THAT bad is it?

    Plenty of buses, trams, an efficient metro system and if you class taxi’s as public transport too, plenty of those!


      1. Fair enough. I’ve not used it as extensively as others, including yourself. I suppose on the positive side, there is potential for improvement though, but plenty of red tape and cross sector arguments to overcome no doubt.

        Be nice to see more cycle lanes, as I’m not so sure I’d want to ride my bike on the busier Bucharest roads, without some defining area for cyclists.

        As with every decision, do any major improvements to public transport make the politicians life easier?

        Doubt many of them ever use it, so why would they be keen for change. That might be the stumbling block, for any real progress – unless bribes or personal interest is involved, be good news if Ponta opened a bicycle shop, as his next career move !


      2. We don’t need cycling lanes, Bucharest is unfit for cycling.

        Only a small minority is cycling in Bucharest, we can’t cut the roads that we all use only to give satisfaction to a small minority.

        Cycling lanes should be built only in parks, not on the vital traffic system.


      3. Fair enough, you and others are better placed than me to comment on whether cyclists aren’t prolific in Buc, say in comparison to London.

        However they could be encouraged with safe and realistic routes, but I suppose on a scale of things, cycling routes aren’t high on the list of solving Buc’s commuting problems, of which I don’t feel are that bad, but as above, you, Craig etc are better placed to comment.

        Also thinking about it, the climate isn’t as cycle friendly as the UK, in the sense of VERY cold weather and VERY hot too … Can’t see many commuting in -10 or 38c … but I did leave one thing off that list which puts off cyclists/motorbikes in the UK – and it always made me wonder why we in the UK don’t copy people who clearly deal with adverse cold weather better than us – and it’s your system of clearing ice/and or snow on your roads … What is that stuff those orange lorries spray out? I guess some form of anti-freeze? But it bloody works well, and far better and less damaging than the grit salt we spread in the UK (awful stuff that rots your motor and barely works!)


      4. It’s salt and saline solution. I worked for the national salt mining company, all city councils buy salt and saline solution by the tens of thousands of tons.

        We have a very good quality salt, unlike what you can get in Western Europe.

        However, the price of salt is heavily influenced by the cost of transportation because in itself it’s very cheap. And that’s why countries like the UK can’t buy salt from us.

        The most we’ve reached westwards is Czech Republic, but we do have a regional monopoly around Romania.

        About cycling: that’s exactly my point. Why cut the vital traffic infrastructure that we all use all year round, only to offer satisfaction to a tiny minority that can only use cycling lanes for 4-6 months a year?!

        It’s the insane liberal talibans who want this to be done.

        All people in this city who are thinking straight would never agree to such a thing.


      5. Cheers Parmo, pretty interesting read that, and it’s a shame the cost of export is so high (although product cheap as you say) We could do with a less abrasive solution for our roads too, grit salt is truly awful stuff, and not a patch on what you guys use.

        Take your point about cycling too, what works in London (to a point) doesn’t mean it would work everywhere else.


  4. The parking thing won’t be solved by just building more parking, you have to make it free too.
    Case in point, there was little need to build the car-park by University when there is a large, perfectly serviceable car-park at the Intercontinental which sits at the best of times half empty, filled with abandoned cars that look like they have not been started since the revolution (well it did 2-3 years ago things may have changed but I did find myself wondering if it would be possible to buy the 1950’s Daimler limo they had there…). I guess people just don’t like to spend cash on parking…


  5. Well, well, well (one for you Parmo/Craig etc) … Here’s what some on here’s beloved European Union has done to a Romanian today …


    Basically a Romanian man used his personal yahoo messenger at work and his company accessed his yahoo account and spied on his conversions! They subsequently fired him for using his personal messenger at work (who hasn’t!) and surely a telling off would have sufficed … So it was taken to the European Court of Human Rights and the poor bloke lost his case!

    His company was told they were fine to do as they did (access and snoop on a private email/messenger account) … And the tragic thing is, my country the UK, is also bound by the European Court of ‘human rights’ and our highest court in the land can overruled by self serving civil servants from Brussels 😦

    On the plus side, incidents like this will only bolster the leave#EU campaign and perhaps shock some Romanian’s who aren’t aware of today’s case law, which could quite easily affect them too !

    Tomorrow I’ll be bringing you another of the latest EU anti-democratic shockers … All I can say is, does a human being simply landing ONE fish with a rod on a beach REALLY deserve arrest and prosecution – well according to the nazi EU, yes they do!



    1. European Court of Human Rights has nothing to do with the EU. It’s actually part of the European Council, a far looser, mainly trade, 47 nation organisation of which even the likes of Belarus is a signatory. The EU’s highest court is the European Court of Justice.


      1. Damn you Craig you beat me to it.
        Again, Woger showing he has no idea what he’s talking about.


      2. Yes Craig, got that wrong, and confused with ECJ … Hold my hand up there – but story is still interesting and shows the pitfalls of a Romanian who went through litigation in a country other than his own … And the action supersedes his own country.


      3. LOL what? He made the decision to go to the ECHR against the Romanian courts in order to appeal their judgement. How exactly does the action supersede that of his own country when the ruling simply said ‘yo, the initial judgement was sound’?

        Cretinous idiot.


    2. Woger again either showing that he lacks the ability to understand the English language (like when he tried impersonating Expatescu and failing to use commas LOL), or is just as dishonest as his hero Farage.

      Let’s read the BBC article shall we and see what it actually says.

      Employee uses his employer’s Instant Messenger account on work time for both personal and work related chats.
      Employer says this is against company regulations and warns the Employee.
      Employee ignores company directives and continues to use his work account, during working hours for personal conversations.
      Employee gets fired for wasting company time on personal conversations.
      Employee takes Employer to Romanian courts for ‘unfair dismissal’ and loses.
      Employee appeals to the European Court of Human Rights, who rule that the Romanian court was justified in dismissing him if they wanted to since it was a work account, and he was using this account during working hours on work based computers.
      The EU is evil?!

      How about UK law? Lets read the final section shall we?

      ‘Lilian Edwards, a professor of internet law at Strathclyde University, said the judgment was in line with UK law and past cases.

      “In this case, the employers say clearly that you are not to use the internet for anything but work.

      “Although it is not popular, it is completely legal.

      “The employer seems to have played this by the book.

      She added that blanket bans on personal internet use at work were unreasonable because people retained the right to their own private life even while working.

      That was particularly important, she said, as people worked longer hours.

      Sally Annereau, a data protection analyst at the law firm Taylor Wessing, said that UK law allowed proportionate checks on employees’ communications.

      “This judgment underlines the importance of having appropriate and lawful employee-monitoring policies in place and making sure both that they are communicated to employees and that they are adhered to by the employer,” she said.’

      Yep, seems to be OK by UK law too.

      Roger, you are a cretin of the highest order.


    3. I read about that in the news. This decision gives power to companies, to dispose of their employees as they please.

      While I am a pro-business fanatic, I don’t believe such attitudes actually help businesses. Most of the times – behind such harsh decisions – stands a boss who hasn’t gotten laid for a long time.

      But I do believe in the sovereign right of a company to hire whoever they want and fire employees whenever they want, without explanations, even if it’s the case of a bad business decision.

      What needs to be changed is the following thing:

      – All companies with more than 100 employees should have at least 50% of the management positions within the company occupied by MEN.

      There is a tendency in multinational corporations to have mostly WOMEN sitting on middle and lower management positions.

      That is not acceptable and needs to be changed.


  6. Question (on the Daily Mail forum):

    – How can I get rid of the ghosts haunting my castle?


    – Rent the castle for a week to gypsies

    Same forum, after 3 months:

    – How can I get rid of the gypsies haunting my castle?


    1. Woger doesn’t understand the word ‘proposal’, nor the democratic manner in which proposals are voted on.
      Why are you so bothered about fish anyway? UKIP don’t care…
      Let’s look what Farage managed to achieve while he was a member of the European Fisheries Committee shall we?

      ‘Over the three years that Nigel Farage was a member of the European Parliament Fisheries Committee, he attended one out of 42 meetings… during the three major votes to fix the flaws of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), Nigel Farage was in the building but failed to vote in favour of improving the legislation. ‘

      ‘In 2013, Nigel Farage was again present but chose not to vote on the part of the reform of the CFP that introduces an obligation on governments to give more fishing quota to sustainable fishermen who contribute the most to the local, coastal economies. This would see the government giving more fishing quota to local, low impact fishing fleets, such as the fishermen featured in UKIP’s poster.’

      UKIP: Representing British Interests (by not bothering to turn up to any meetings or vote, but still pocketing over 100,000 pounds a year plus expenses)

      What does this have to do with buses Woger?


    1. *yawn*, come back when you stop posting factually wrong shit such as
      ‘They have been forced upon us by EU directives which are stitched up by the European Commission, rubberstamped by the European Parliament and then ordered to be incorporated into British law.’
      We’ve been through this before, member-states can’t be forced to do anything without having agreed to do so previously.

      Again, nothing to do with Craig’s piece.

      Notice how quite and peaceful it was before you returned? Took less than a week for you to drive away another poster and cost Craig one of his advertisers…He banned you for a reason.


  7. Why do the Bucharest Police “have to hand the fine to the driver in person and carry out a process verbal”? That’s idiotic. In New York City where I am from the police have handheld ticketing machines that print out tickets that they stick under your windshield wipers. Even if one was to blow away and you never realize you got a ticket, your data has been sent to the police database and after 30 days you get a summons in the mail with added fees.


    1. Because the defendant has the right to appeal against the fine in court and all procedural papers must be made according to the law, otherwise the police will lose in court and the agent may face charges for abuse.

      If the defendant refuses to sign the proces verbal in person, a witness must be identified to sign the document and to further certify that the situation stands as the agent presents it.

      If the police agent would simply write a fine on somebody’s name, with no further evidence and testimony, the judge would stick the fine up his ass and hand him over to the military prosecutor for abuse.


      1. Wow. In the USA the police have the authority to enforce the law over a citizen. You can contest a ticket of course. If you want to have a city where cars aren’t parked in cross walks and in the middle of the street I suggest you switch to the American way of enforcing parking.

        Having said this, back in 2010 my car was taken from outside my apartment in a legal parking space in sector 1 by that corrupt guy who had the garbage contract. He fled to Cuba and then was picked up in Dubai by Interpol. His henchmen tried to charge me 400 euros but I swore at them for a long time and only paid 200 euros. The police said they could not help me as he had been taking their own personal cars too. . .


      2. Dubai refuses to extradite him.

        That’s how it was in Romania too in the times of Ceausescu: police had the authority to enforce law over a citizen without judicial proceedings. If the police picked you up, not only that you were beaten, but you also were convicted.

        The judge wouldn’t give a damn about any of your arguments.

        If we want to have a city where cars aren’t parked in cross walks and in the middle of the street, we should build more parking spaces.


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