EghtesadOnline: The recent economic headwinds facing the country have put an end to a state-backed scheme to renovate Iran's intercity bus fleet, the head of Iran's Intercity Transportation Union says.
Ahmadreza Ameri added that a large number of intercity buses in Iran are dilapidated, such that the average age of the fleet has reached 13.
Pointing to the recent economic problems facing the country, Ameri said the price of new buses, just like any other commodity, has seen a threefold leap.
“Currently, a new bus is sold for 25 billion rials ($174,800) while the same bus was sold at 7.5 billion rials ($52,400) a year ago,” Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.
After US President Donald Trump reneged on Iran’s nuclear accord and reimposed sanctions against Tehran last summer, the Iranian rial has lost almost 70% of its value over the past year.
On Saturday, the US dollar was traded at 143,000 rials in Tehran while it hardly fetched 42,000 rials in March 2018.
Following the sanctions, many foreign suppliers of vehicles and parts suspended collaboration with Iranian firms. The country cannot afford to import new buses in large numbers and the local manufacturers do not have an adequate volume of parts to boost bus production.
Over 15,500 buses are operating in the country's transportation fleet, a big part of which have outlived their usefulness and are ready to head for the scrap yard.
Experts believe effective scrappage and renovation measures must be taken soon to improve the efficiency of intercity bus fleet and reduce air pollution.