Transport Hell in Yerevan

Don’t drive in Yerevan, Notes From Hairenik says, because as a result of Due to the numerous road construction projects car-driving “has become very hazardous with cars passing one another indiscriminately and causing near life-threatening accidents”. The root of the problem is corruption in the way the state grant licenses, Christian Garbis speculates, and the solution – take a taxi, don’t waste your nerves:

It is a fact that most motorists on the road today obtain their driver’s licenses by paying a bribe, without passing any tests to prove they are capable of being able to drive. As a result you have insane numbers of drivers operating their vehicles nearly out of control. I for one am going to start taking a taxi to where I work in Arabkir every morning because it is not worth wasting my nerves or my safety driving on these roads. I’ve had it.

Not everyone can afford taxi though, and Zara from Life around me, is more for the shuttle buses (minivans, often referred to as Marshrutkas), which cost 100 drams (about 30 cents) 5-10 times less then taxi, are usually fully packed, drive unsafely, and have an wide range of disadvantages, 5 of which are analyzed at legth in Zara’s post:

Well, actually I like traveling to any place by marshutkas and I take a taxi on rare occasions and also I don’t want to drive, especially in this manic city…
Yeah, I know, marshutkas are not that safe, some people call them “100-dram-killers”. However, I don’t mind other people around me, I rather prefer it, especially when so funny incidents and conversations happen in them. And but for several things, marshutkas would be my adorable means of transportation.
Sure, there are many other disadvantages, but I’ll leave them up to you. And anyways, I still prefer marshutkas!

One thing I know for sure – I will walk on every possible occasion, only to avoid getting into traffic hell. I can’t afford a car yet, but its definitely much better then the public transport. Taxis are a good solution, but they are not for everyone, as an average trip costs $3 US so travelling to work and back in taxi every day will take about $140 US, which is more then half of reported average salary in Armenia. And best of all is – working and sleeping in one location and not going anywhere if you can. It really is traffic hell in Yerevan these days, and I don’t see any tendencies for improvement for the nearest 3-4 months.

Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant


  1. It never ceases to amaze me that incidents in the U.S., Europe or elsewhere other than Armenia are taken by rationalists and apologists in the Diaspora to discredit legitimate concerns here. Usually, these people have never even visited. So, as someone who has traveled and lived in Armenia, the U.S. and U.K,, and as everyone knows who has been here, the roads are lethal, anarchic and chaos here. You can’t compare them with many places in fact, and it saddens me to see that rather than address the issue, some have to try to pretend it doesn’t exist. The usual question to people such as Hovik still remains. Have you actually been to Armenia and when?

  2. I just wanted to point out that the link above directs readers to watch a music video from the 1980s about a singer not being able to “drive 55.” In other words, the driving in the video, which takes place at a race track, does not coincide or compare with the reality of Yerevan since it is staged, so whatever. I don’t get the point of the comment.

  3. Go back to taking your orders from your British MI6 Onnik.
    You don`t get my point cgarbis? They are bad drivers in every country and I`m not one of them. I obey all traffic laws. You and Onnik want to paint Armenia in a bad light
    purposely, what else is new. Onnik and cgarbis make it sound as if driving in
    Yerevan is like driving on a lunar landscape which is totaly and utterly false.
    Are their bad roads in Armenia? Sure! Go drive in Washington DC or other parts of America and their are also bad roads and lots of construction. Remember the “Big Dig” in Boston cgarbis? I know people who don`t like to drive their cars through some parts of Washington DC because of all the pot holes in the roads. I was talking to a man who told me in the 70`s Myrtle Beach was all dirt roads and now it is rated the world`s best beach by Yahoo travel. I think postive with regards to Hayastan while you two think negative.
    God willing in the future I will live and raise a family in Armenia.

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