Development of road transport over last 20 years – ARTICLE

Development of road transport over last 20 years – ARTICLE

Reforms in transport sector, improvement of governance

As a result of the fundamental structural reforms carried out between 2003 and 2023, the country’s economy has moved to the next stage of rapid development. Specific and systematic measures have been implemented in the areas of transport sector development, sustainability, reliability, safety and compliance with environmental protection standards. Today, the state policy in the field of transport includes measures aimed at the socio-economic development of our country, improving the welfare of the population and increasing the economic power of the state.

The policy is based on improving governance through institutional reforms, widespread use of information and communication technologies in transport operations, formation of a healthy competitive environment through the application of state regulation mechanisms and other factors.

According to the Order of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated 13 February 2017, the Ministry of Transport of the Republic of Azerbaijan was merged with the Ministry of Communications and High Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan was established on their basis. According to the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan  on some measures to improve governance in the field of digitalization, innovation, high technologies and communications in the Republic of Azerbaijan dated 11 October 2021, the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies was renamed the Ministry of Digital Development and Transport of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Also, the Azerbaijan Land Transport Agency (AYNA) was established on the basis of road passenger transport authorities under the heads of executive authorities of Sumgayit and Ganja and a number of enterprises. By the Decree of the Head of State dated 19 April 2023, participation in the organization of road traffic in the administrative territory of Baku city, regulation and control of regular passenger transportation by public transport vehicles and passenger transportation by taxis was entrusted to the Ministry of Digital Development and Transport of the Republic of Azerbaijan. By the same Decree, the Azerbaijan Land Transport Agency was reorganized in the form of a merger with the public legal entity “Baku Transport Agency”, subordinate to the head of the executive power of Baku city.


International freight transport by road

Nowadays, the issues related to the activities of international transport to ensure economic and trade relations, free access to goods and services, effective measures against modern challenges, determination of priorities, efficient functioning of the transport system capable of providing transportation on a more global scale and in large volumes are of particular importance.

The increase in Azerbaijan’s foreign trade turnover causes an increase in demand for transport services and full utilization of the existing opportunities of Azerbaijan as a transit country.

One of the areas that carry out the bulk of freight transport is road transport sector. In this area, either the renewal of the vehicle fleet or the improvement of the quality of freight transport was identified as a priority issue.

Over the past 20 years, important work has been done in the direction of developing the international road transport market of our country, promoting local carriers and increasing their market share. The number of Azerbaijani carriers, their market shares have increased, and the vehicle fleet used in transport has been expanded. At the same time, during this period, new intergovernmental agreements were signed with a number of countries in the field of international road transport, and important organizational measures were taken to fulfil the obligations arising from the international conventions to which we have acceded.

As a result of the work carried out towards a more efficient organization of the transport industry in our country, the total volume of freight traffic has increased. Thus, in 2003, 59 million 100 thousand tons of goods were transported out of our country by road, and in 2023 this figure was 134 million 200 thousand tons.

With the full implementation of the Quality Charter in the Republic of Azerbaijan, the participation in international freight transport of carriers and professional drivers meeting the criteria related to business reputation, financial standing and professional competence is ensured. This has made it possible to significantly increase the share of national carriers in the international transportation market and ensure their competitiveness at the international level.

The market share of national carriers have increased in all areas of bilateral transport routes. Compared to 2022, it increased from 45.91% (101843) to 52.77% (135441) in 2023.

The number of local vehicles involved in international transport has increased manifold and exceeded 12,700 units. At the same time, transit freight traffic carried by international carriers through our country has grown fivefold in recent years to 6.5 million tons.


Reforms in passenger transport

In order to ensure convenient and safe transportation of passengers and organization of modern transport services in the country, modern bus terminal complexes have been built in Baku city and regions, new bus lines have been opened on local and international routes.

Priorities include the reconstruction of transport infrastructure in our territories liberated from occupation, meeting the demand for freight and passenger traffic in these regions both during the construction period and in the years to come, and restoring transport services.

It should be noted that in accordance with the needs and ready road infrastructure, bus routes in the directions Baku–Shusha, Baku–Aghdam, Barda–Aghdam, Ahmedbeyli (Fuzuli) –Shusha, Tartar city–Talish village, Horadiz (Fuzuli) –Aghali (Zangilan) have been organized by AYNA.

In the city of Lachin, work is underway to organize passenger transport by public transport. Three routes have been put out to tender. In the nearest future, the routes Lachin city–Zabukh village, Lachin city–Zerti village, Lachin city–Garikaha village will start operating.

The opening of regular bus routes is also being analyzed in other liberated territories.

Over the past period, work was carried out to improve the efficiency and quality of regular passenger transport by road  and passenger transport  by  taxis, and amendments were made to regulatory legal acts to introduce a more flexible and optimal form of management.

A number of projects have been implemented in the country, especially in the capital city, to upgrade the transport fleet and organize safe and convenient use of buses by passengers. In recent years, the public transport infrastructure has been upgraded and passengers have been provided with more comfortable and economical buses.

Thus, 785 million 600 thousand passengers were transported in 2003, and 1 billion 694 million passengers in 2023.

In 2003, 171 million 400 thousand manats was earned from passenger and freight transport by road, and in 2022 – 1 billion 692 million manats.


Mobility Transformation Program in Azerbaijan

In order to increase the availability of public transport, improve mobility in the city, make the transport system safer and eco-friendly and reduce emissions into the atmosphere, a mobility-related program has been launched in Baku and part of it has already been implemented.

The components of this project are infrastructure projects related to traffic management, reforms of taxi service, parking management, bus route analysis, creation of micro-mobility infrastructure.

To achieve the 2030 targets, work is currently underway in several phases.

Thus, more than 60 initiatives to transform the mobility system have been considered. AYNA has conducted extensive on-site analyses and collected a significant database. A digital twin of Baku  city was created. This digital twin is used to plan the latest infrastructure projects and optimize regular route lines. To date, a total of 20 projects with huge investment potential have been modelled on the “digital twin” and scientifically valid results have been obtained.

Over the past period, important steps have been taken towards the electronization of services, as well as ensuring digital transformation in this area. Mobile applications BakuKart, Azparking,, as well as several subsystems of the AYNA Information System have been launched.

One of the steps taken to ensure mobility is the proper organization of parking lots. Depending on the demand for parking, certain parts of Baku city have been divided into four paid zones. As a result of work carried out in the zones, over 20 thousand parking places have been organized. This has increased the availability of parking spaces in the city.

The new challenges are to make the modern urban environment more human-centred and to stimulate the use of micro mobility tools. Taking these trends into account, the development of micro mobility has been identified as one of the main areas of activity. The mobility project also took into account bicycles, scooters, which are vehicles with small wheels. In the first phase, a 17 km long cycle and scooter track has been constructed. Work is also ongoing towards the creation of appropriate infrastructure for pedestrian traffic.


New realities

The full restoration of our territorial integrity and sovereignty has created new realities in the region.

With the achievement of the historic victory, new opportunities for cooperation have been opened up for the general well-being of the region. From this perspective, favorable conditions have been created for the normalizing not only political but also economic, humanitarian and cultural relations in a broader context.

The transport links, which have been frozen for many years due to the occupation, are of particular importance in this regard. The end of the conflict and the establishment of peace can be seen as having increased the importance of transport corridors through the region.

If we look at the last 20 years as a whole, we will see that the economy of Azerbaijan has gone a long way of development. In 2003–2023, significant events took place in the transport sector of Azerbaijan and the transit potential of our country increased significantly.

The work done proves once again that the transport sector of Azerbaijan is going through a period of development.