When Albania’s public buses and public taxis started to run again in 2018, a lot of people were excited.
It meant a lot to people in rural areas where the road to the city was usually very dusty and hard to access.
For those people, the buses and taxis were the only option to get around.
That all changed this January when the National Bank of Albania, the central bank, announced the first of three new private bus and taxi services.
For people in remote areas of the country, they were an opportunity to travel, but not necessarily to visit.
So, it wasn’t just a change for people in the capital, but also for the whole country.
Now, all those people who used to rely on buses and cabs to get to work or school are going to be able to take public transport, and the number of buses and cars on the roads is expected to double over the next year.
“It’s very exciting for Albania,” said Elisabeth Bajdou, the head of the Albania’s Transport and Communications Agency (ATCA), when we spoke to her about the changes.
“We have a big problem of overcrowding, we have a lot problems with pollution and traffic, and we have this old, badly constructed road that is not up to our expectations.
So this is the first step to make it safe to use public transport.”
The changes will also help to solve the problems of overcrowded roads.
According to the National Transport Authority (ATA), there are around 9,500 buses in the country and there are more than 20,000 taxis, which are considered vehicles that are operated by private companies.
The ATA has been in the control of the banks since its establishment in 1998.
Now the ATA is tasked with regulating the transport of goods and passengers, with the goal of making the country’s roads as safe as possible for both tourists and locals.
The new private services are part of the ATCA’s efforts to boost Albania’s image and tourism sector.
The idea behind the new services is that, instead of a government bus or a private taxi, people can use the public transport to get where they need to go.
The buses will be provided by local companies with a strong track record in the industry, such as Gondar, a taxi company in Kotor.
“The public transport has a reputation for being very safe,” Bajde told us.
“You can go home with a broken leg or a broken car and not worry about it.
And we think that the new private transport services are a great way to improve the safety of the road for the people of Albania.”
The ATCA is planning to hire some 5,000 drivers, who will be given a private car licence and a new driver’s license.
They will be able take passengers, and carry the load, in a car and take them to destinations that are safe for people to walk or run on foot.
The company also plans to provide a free mobile phone, a Wi-Fi connection and Wi-Tec, so that people can communicate and find the nearest bus stop and the closest taxi to their destinations.
“When you can talk to people, and you can take them on the bus, you have to pay a little bit more for the public transportation,” Bau says.
“So we think it’s worth it.
We think the public will pay more for it.”
The first private bus service is planned to run from the start of October to December 2019, with a total of about 50 buses and 20 cars.
For now, it is not clear how much of the existing bus network will be replaced by the new vehicles.
“Until we know how much it will cost, we’re not sure,” Baudou says.
However, it will be cheaper to get on and off the bus with the new service than to buy the new bus, which is estimated to cost around 6,000 euros ($7,000) per person.
“I think the first passengers will pay a bit more,” Beddou says, “because we have to take care of the people who have the private cars.”
The new bus service will be free for tourists, as well as locals.
Bajdu says that the first batch of drivers will start operating from the beginning of December, and they will be paid a monthly wage of 5,500 euros ($6,500).
She expects to have a team of drivers and an additional 200 drivers available for the first month.
The first operators will operate in the cities of Kotor and Tirana.
“Then we will have the rest of the public and private vehicles,” Baidou says in her first comments about the new operators.
“And we hope that people will like it.”
It’s not clear when the new buses will arrive in Albania.
However if it is a success, Bajdo and Bajdan may be able change their minds about using the public buses.
“People are used to public transport and I think it is the