|GP: New School Bus Link in Iasi - Romania|
The lack of transportation opportunities should not be the cause of exclusion of communities in today's Europe. Therefore the provision of public transport as a safe and environmentally friendly mode of transport for the children of the Romany community seems an obvious way to provide a broader perspective on the role of transportation
The City of Iasi is located in north-eastern Romania and is the second largest Romanian city, after Bucharest, with a population of 366,000 inhabitants. It is also the center of a metropolitan area, which occupies a surface of 787.87 square kilometers, encompassing a total population of 398,000 inhabitants.
Objectives / Innovative Aspects
The purpose of the school bus link is to provide a safe mode of transport for the children of the Romany community and to encourage the people of the community to use public transport, thus increasing social inclusion and opportunities for education.
Ciurea, with its 10,000 inhabitants is the rural district of Iasi Metropolitan Area, has the biggest community of Romany citizens - approximately 10%.
Over 1,000 young people study in schools or university in Iasi. There are huge problems with poverty and as a result a large percentage of the Romany community has abandoned school. The City of Iasi wants to help the Romany community to integrate in society and to have equal rights with City of Iasi citizens.
The distance between the village Ciurea and Iasi and poor PT services make it difficult for the Romany population to access various services e.g. education facilities. This shows that a lack of transport options can be a hindrance to social inclusion.
The Ciurea village is under the County Council administration. The Iasi Municipality created a new transportation connection by introducing bus line 41b, which connects the two localities and thus ensures the transportation of the students belonging to the Romany community in Ciurea to schools and universities in Iasi.
This transport line was implemented on the basis of the association agreement between the City of Iasi and the Ciurea village and of Act No. 268/2008 of the County Council.
Bus line 41b is an extension of line 41, the route of which is Copou - Piata Eminescu - Tg. Cucu - Podu Ros - Rond CUG. The terminal located at Rond CUG of line 41 lies at the boundary of the city of Iasi, and the extension of line 41 satisfies the transportation needs of the students living in Ciurea towards most of the educational institutions in Iasi, as it crosses the centre of the city and it also reaches the university area.
In January 2009 a study for the estimation of the number of citizens belonging to the Romany minority in Ciurea who use the transport facilities of line 41b was carried out. The conclusion of this estimation is that 9 out of 10 potential Romany passengers use the public transport facilities of line 41b each round trip. The evaluation was conducted at peak times (600-900 and 1300-1700), when most of the students have to get to the educational institutions.
The transport company and the City Hall of Ciurea concluded a collaboration contract regarding the issue of special passes for the students living in Ciurea in order to help them and encourage them to use the public transport service.