Transport in Georgia

by Nancy Kikvadze

The origin of the word “transport” is Latin (transporto: send, carry, or convey across). In Georgian primitive means of transport were used from ancient times. According to Ivane Javakhishvili’s “History of Georgian Nation”, there was four day’s carriage road built from Shorapani until the border of Iberia.

Fast growth of capitalism caused the development of transportation as the separate field of industry. During the industrial revolution (in late XVIII and early XIX centuries) Trade expansion was enabled by the introduction of canals, improved roads and railways. In the XIX century with the introduction of steam power and powered machinery first steamers appeared. In the early XX the total length of the railroads throughout the world totaled 1114 thousand kilometers. Air and road transport developed rapidly in the Soviet Union.

Let us scroll through the Georgian newspapers of early XX:


Februari 2, 1901 № 27

As The Kavkaz newspaper informs, self propelled carriages, so called automobiles will travel between Kutaisi and Oni in the nearest future. The vehicles can carry 300 pounds of load and will travel 19-22 versts in hour.

The Tsnobis Furtseli

February 27, 1902 1737

The major carriage lesser Khanuma of Ibrahimbegov decided to launch automobiles on the Caucasian road as soon as she is granted the permission by the relevant government bodies. In summer the automobiles will cover the whole distance, while in winter they will travel until Mleta, as they are unable to travel in the heavy snow conditions.

The Iveria newspaper

November 5, 1903. 236

On November 3 citizens of Tbilisi, Tripon Jamaspov and Markar Bek-avakov applied city hall with the appeal to grant them permission to start automobile traffic in Tbilisi. In the beginning, they will purchase 20 automobiles, 10 for public traffic and 10 for the load. In case of growing demand, they will expand the operations. The fare for traffic in the areas where tramway passes will be 1 kopeck per person – cheaper than the tram fare. In other parts the fare will be 5 kopecks. For cargo carriage the fare will be as follows: carriage of one pound of load from the railway station to the city centre will cost 1 ½ kopecks; from the one bank of the town to another – 2 kopecks. The concessionaires will pay 7% of revenues in favor of the town. The concessionaires have already deposited 1000 rubles to offset the taxes and maintenance of vehicles.

The Tsnobis Furtseli

July 21, 1904 2560

Prince I. D. Orjonikidze, Retired Colonel Prince G. M. Shervashidze, Juror A. P. Lebedinski, Prince K. D. Eristavi, Kutaisi Resident I. Kakabadze and Merchant S. Rukhadze applied the governmet to grant them the permission to start automobile traffic in Kutaisi province. If the supreme government of Caucasus grants the permits the automobiles will travel between Kutaisi and Khoni and between Ozurgeti and Natanebi. Kakabadze and Rukhadze have already been granted the permission to start the venture between Kutaisi and Khoni.

Nancy Kikvadze


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