Private vehicles dominate

Lack of public transportation options in Soran

SORAN –  The Soran Autonomous Administration in the northeastern part of Kurdistan Region grapples with a stark absence of public transportation, leaving residents reliant on private vehicles amidst attempts to establish a more accessible system.

While transportation infrastructure remains a concern across much of the Kurdistan Region, the situation in Soran is particularly acute.

Barzan Mir Ali, Director of Transportation in Soran, acknowledged prior attempts to implement public transportation initiatives, which, he notes, were met with citizen reluctance.

Ali revealed that despite endeavors to implement a public bus line last year, primarily serving the city of Soran, the initiative failed to gain traction, resulting in buses often traversing the city devoid of passengers.

“We hope to establish a public transportation line in the future that citizens can benefit from,” Ali added.

Currently, existing buses in Soran predominantly cater to the transportation needs of students and educators.

There are also bus lines operating between Soran and Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan Region.

Despite the comparatively lower cost of public buses and minibuses in contrast to private taxis, their scarcity places a considerable burden on residents.

In response to the transportation vacuum, a substantial number of private vehicles have assumed the role of ferrying citizens within and around Soran. Although municipal regulations dictate that only licensed taxis should provide transport services, the prevalence of privately-owned vehicles persists, with many individuals utilizing their cars for transportation either as a secondary occupation or out of necessity.

Explaining the prevalence of private vehicles over licensed taxis, some drivers cite financial constraints hindering their ability to acquire taxi licenses.

With a population nearing 400,000 residents spread across six districts and sub-districts, Soran attained autonomous administration status within the Kurdistan Region in 2021.

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