Free Bus-Rides for Kerkorian, Aznavour, Ryzhkov in Yerevan

National heroes of Armenia are among the few privileged categories of people, who are entitled to free ride in public transport system of the Armenian capital.

Fifteen people so far have been granted the title of National Hero of Armenia, and only three of them are alive. They are: the richest Armenian of the world, Armenian-American billionaire Kirk Kerkorian; the King of Chanson, Armenian-French singer, songwriter, actor, public activist and diplomat Charles Aznavour; former Prime Minister of Soviet Union, Russian politician Nikolay Ryzhkov.

All the above people are wealthy enough to appreciate the free buss-ride, I’m pretty sure.

Public buses in Yerevan have a sign posted by the driver’s seat, where one can see which categories of people are entitled to free bus rides.

Most other categories of people there are not likely to need the free bus-rides either. This includes the very few remaining living heroes of Soviet Union as well persons living in elderly houses and orphanages. In other words, people who won’t or can’t use public transport, get all the goodies.

Admittedly, there is a very well-developed and rather inexpensive public transportation system in Yerevan, costing 50 – 100 AMD (about $ 0,15 – 0,28 US) for a ride.

However, pensioners and people who live on a meager pension, which is well below the minimum necessary for basic survival, have no privileges, discounts or free rides.

PS1: This story was originally posted by Reporter_Arm. PS2: Now I’m dying to see Kerkorian, Aznavour or Ryzhkov riding a Yerevan bus.


14 thoughts on “Free Bus-Rides for Kerkorian, Aznavour, Ryzhkov in Yerevan

  1. and i would want to see if there is statistics on how many privileged persons use public transport per month. this would tell a lot.

    as for giving those public transport privileges to pensioners, i am trying to recall a country that does that, i would appreciate if the author makes parallels to those countries.

    P.S. as a proposal, i would encourage to include visits to state-run museums and art galleries in the list of privileges for people mentioned above

    • As a student (on a state pension) in the U.K. and the U.S.A. I was entitled to discounts when buying tickets, visiting museums (in U.S. as in U.K. all the museums I went to were free), cinemas, as well as free access to libraries.

      Armenia used to have free rides for most pensioners in the past. Several years ago they eliminated it, and added a modest amount (something like 1600 AMD ($4-5 US) to their pension as compensation.

      • ohhh, disapointed with your reply, but still

        dear Observer,

        i doubt the author means students, but if you understand pensioners meant in the article as students….. then OK, let me continue with that

        you say you had discounts, i had them as well, but I think we talk about free ride on public transportation. i have to tell you that students have a LOT of privileges today in Armenia as well, including even special discounts on loans for study….and many use that (to talk about key word – social)

        i doubt pensioners (including students) in US and UK have free public transportation ride

        my questions and suggestions were meant to make the picture (or article) complete and understand if the author has figures and if he sees any unusual picture/problem in this particular issue.

        anyways, appreciate your time and like your blog indeed.

        • Thanks, I similarly appreciate your project Very useful indeed. Make sure to check out my other blog:

          As to the point about free rides for pensioners, I haven’t been able to check my facts, but from what I have heard, Belarus and Ukraine have free rides for most pensioners. Not really sure though, googling didn’t help or I didn’t search properly.

  2. this is the most ridiculous story. millionaires-billionaires get FREE rides in one of the poorest countries in the world?????? my b-day is wed Dec 15, I think I’ll kill myself so I dont have to live on knowing that the most ass backwards things like this exist in this world. If I am there and I see KK taking free ride on our buses while others are paying for it, I will not hesitate for 1 nano-second and beat him with in inch of his life and toss him off the bus, all before I take his money out of his pockets and distribute it to the other passengers
    I am appalled that KK of all ppl has been given this NHA status. what has he done for Armenia? he did not fight for Hayastan-Artsakh, he has only visited Hayastan half a dozen times, and only done so because he happen to be flying in or near that direction of the world on his private jet (meaning he has yet to go out of his way to visit Hayastan solely on his own recognizance) he gave rk-ss-dodi regime 100 million dollars, when was it? like more than 10 years ago, and because he made these 3 top leaders filthy rich, therefore he receives “special” status, oh and btw: you get a free bus ride for life in Yerevan. its as if rewarding a 4th grader for cheating on his/her math test. if KK wants to do something real for Hayastan and gain the love & admiration from the ppl, he should take 2-3 billion of his 10-15 billi0n net worth and distribute it among the ppl. help build new homes, schools, hospitals, water-electric-gas infrastructures, yev ayln yev ayln. then he would absolutely deserve NHA status. you dont have to give your life fighting our external enemies to receive “special” status, but if you can help Hayastan to progress for a better future by lending your hand, then that I believe makes you a real hero in my book
    anyway, fact remains that KK, Charles, and whom ever else would never in their lives be caught sitting on a city bus anywhere in the world. these elitars are always traveling privately(in luxury & style no less) so I’m not worried about seeing him or any NHA’er taking advantage on something that was “given” to them, not “earned” honorably-respectfully (such as our Vazgo, Karen, Monte, Zhiro, and other brave souls who gave their lives to defend us)
    as for Aznavour, he has done some things for Hayastan in terms of help building relations between Paris & Yerevan, promoting Hayastan in France and to Europe general population, speaking out when necessary, and he has visited Hayastan several times: both to visit & entertain, buuuuuuut…I find he has not done anything “worthy” to receive NHA status. I mean lets be real here, what has he done? did he go to Artaskh during the war to sing for the soldiers and boost moral? no he did not, but you know who did? mer Hay Gusan: ARAM ASATURYAN (there is video evidence of him there singing and help boost moral for our azatamartiks) did he give a hand to the poor and orphan children? has he said: hey I’ll get millionaires & billionaires to help with devastated Spitak-Gyumri? no, instead he made 1 song about it and well, nothing really came of it.
    One thing I dont know about is Aznavouryans net worth. I know he is extremely wealthy, 10’s of millions maybe into 100 million, hele ch’gitem. but one thing I do know is that dodi gago has to have more money than Aznavour. it is strongly speculated that gago’s wealth reaches well into 250 million range, but some speculate it is closer to 500 mill. either way, I think labeling Aznavour in top 3 wealthiest Armenian status is a bit unaccurate, but definitely I would place him in top 10
    if anyone wishes to know comparison rates of Yerevan bus fare vs. LA’s MTA. here it is $2.50-2.75 each way. although that was years ago, I have not used MTA in very long time. so, I can speculate its maybe $3.00-3.25 now. if you told ppl in LA that the bus fare is $0.15 cents, they would jump for joy and then pause to ask: hele spasi, is it 1928 again?

  3. Andranik, you’re not fair to Kerkorian and Aznavour. Both of them have either directly contributed or helped collect and contributed hundreds of millions of dollars for rebuilding Armenia and they both fully deserve the status of National Heros.

    The only point of this story was that its ridiculous to provide such privileges, which none of them can use.

    • @observer
      de lav ara, vonc vor uzum es aydpes
      btw: off topic here, there are strong rumors that rk’s son levon has purchased for Sirusho a very expensive ride for your b-day coming up in Jan., this might be due to the very strong rumors that she parted from him several months ago and demanded a divorce from the kocharyan family. I suppose that 20 mill that himnadram collected has paid off well if he can afford to buy her a $100k automobile. of course this is only speculations and no credible facts to back it up. however, she has been seen both in privatge & public NOT wearing her ring for the last few months (source: professional & amateur pics/videos) and that she wrote & sang her new song: “havatum em” for him, in hopes to get back together? I dont know !

    • @mike
      I move to have “mike” meet me in central square of Yerevan this summer
      so I can embarrass you so bad, you’ll crawl under a rock for the rest of your life…. ay himar lakot !

  4. piece guys, piece, please do not insult each other

    and i happen to receive an email every time someone leaves a reply under this post:)

    spare me :)

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