Starting from today (8 January) a new coach service is launched between Tashkent and Shymkent. The first pilot coach was tested last week between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan on the interstate route Tashkent-Chimkent. The coach left bus terminal in the capital of Uzbekistan for Shymkent in Kazakhstan. This is the first regular bus service between countries since the mid-1990s.
"Today, the first bus with delegation of Uzbekistan left for Kazakhstan. And from January 8, regular daily service will be in operation, " – said the representative of the Uzbek Agency for Automobile and River Transport.
According to official there will be a daily direct service with busses running every hour. The total distance of the route will be 145.2 kilometers, travel time - three and a half hours. Passengers will pass through the border through the Gisht Kuprik / Zhibek Zholy checkpoint as a matter of priority. The route will be serviced by 20 intercity buses of Uzbek and Kazakhstan carriers.
The representative of the agency said that in the future passenger coaches should connect the major cities of Kazakhstan with tourist centers in Uzbekistan, primarily with Samarkand and Bukhara.
In March 2017, the governments of the two countries signed a protocol on the introduction of amendments to the agreement on international road transport, providing for the organization of regular bus routes. In particular, each carrier will be granted the right to work for five years on a certain route between the major cities of the two countries. The document came into force on November 17.
During 2017, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan stepped up cooperation in the transport sector. In particular, in March, a direct rail passenger service was launched along the route Almaty-Tashkent. In November, flights between Tashkent and Alma-Ata became available on a daily basis, and between the capitals of the two states four times a week. In July, the Kazakhstan section of the M-39 highway connecting Tashkent with Samarkand was put into operation. The M-39 highway, passing through the Maktaaral district of Kazakhstan, was closed in 2006.