Society

Bureaucraucy 101: how to register a car in Romania

Posted by Strainu on March 11, 2013
Society / No Comments
Administratia Financiara Sector 6

Photo: R─âzvan Lerescu

I wanted to write this article for a while now, but got delayed so now it’s about the old auto tax in Romania (it kinda changes every year). Still, I doubt that much has changed about the people there.

A few months ago I bought a new car and went to register it. I had heard beforehand about the bureaucracy at the Ministry of Finance, and I was prepared to wait for a while. Still, in the hope that I would get away cheap, I went to the Treasury next to my home, but it turns out that first I had to have my tax calculated (even if it’s a simple formula and there is an online calculator for it). We’ll call this office 1.

So the next step is to go to the place where they could calculate it. There you have to go to a room(office 2) in order to get a form which you can’t find online despite the law requiring all such forms to be online; you have to fill the form and return it to the same office along with the other 5 copies of different documents you need in order to justify the request. They will give you a registration number, a place (office 3) and a time (or should I say deadline? I would hate to find out what happens if you miss that time) when you can pick up the paper.

When you come back, you find out that 10-15 other people were called at the exact some time (which, by the way, is in the middle of the day). After waiting for half an hour outside office 3, you finally get the paper that says how much you have to pay signed by no less than 3 different people.

From there, you go to the cashier to pay (office 4). Except… you can’t ­čÖé Turns out the cashier is not actually a cashier (i.e. she can’t handle cash), so she only prints the receipt, signs it and then passes it to her colleague at office 5, which takes the money and signs the receipt again. And with that, you’re finally done with the Ministry of Finances, you can move on to the Ministry of Administration to actually register the car.

All in all, in order to pay some money you need to go to their offices in 3 different days (well, actually 2 once you know the drill), involve 7 people from 5 different offices, and move lots of papers with lots of signatures on them around. I think only writing and printing those papers costs more than 1% of the sum I paid. The salaries, building maintenance etc. are on the top of that. All this could be done instead with a single server and a website where you could upload a scan of your car’s identity card and pay the amount online. But not in today’s Romania.

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Intermodal transport for Bucharest

Posted by Strainu on November 22, 2008
Society / No Comments

There’s been a lot of fuss these last days about the opening of 4 more stations of the Bucharest subway. Unfortunately, the 19-years long, 175 million euros project was just another leftover from the communist era. Will it help the development of the eastern part of the city? Sure, but it will also cause further crowding in the main exchange stations.

What Bucharest needs is a true intermodal transportation network. A first step was the made around 2003, with the opening of the passageway between the Cr├ónga┼či metro station and tramway station. There are also hopes for a “train to the plane” (the metro to Otopeni) and “automobiles on trains”. These are all important parts of a true intermodal transport network, but each development is made separately, without thinking about connections.

Add talked about “park and ride” on the newly opened line. What I want to talk about today is the other end of the future M3 line, the exit from Bucharest onto A1. Near P─âcii station there is an old bus terminal, from which buses leave to many cities in Muntenia. As you can see from this article (in Romanian), the terminal itself is very clean and comfortable, but the area around it is in ruins and many bus companies prefer to avoid the tolls by using the streets in the zone for departures.

If the City Hall’s transportation department would be serious about intermodal transportation, it would take some measures for cleaning up the area. First of all, it should do daily sweeps with the police and get read of the bus companies leaving from other places. That would free up the traffic in the area, especially because that’s also the place where Iuliu Maniu Bvd. get from 4 lanes to only 2.

Then, it should build a direct passageway from the metro to the bus terminal. This would cut transfer time by 5 to 10 minutes and reducing the risks for the commuters (it’s an adventure to cross the boulevard now). Of course, the subterranean access should be accessible for the disabled.

The unused space of the terminal could be used for a parking. And for the parking ticket, you could get a 1 day ticket on RATB+subway – the classic “park and ride” scheme. And if there still is some leftover space, a small park would do wonders for the area.

Unfortunately, this is just wishful thinking from me. A passage costs much more than a street crossing and the terrain could be disputed by former owners. And most importantly, the politicians must decide that this project is not impeding on their little “affairs”.

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Biblioteca metropolitan─â map

Posted by Strainu on October 17, 2008
My Projects, Society / No Comments

A while ago, I discovered the Bucharest City’s Library unofficial blog (now dead). It was written by two guys who wanted to promote reading and borrowing books from the Biblioteca Metropolitan─â. I wanted to help them, so I made a google map with all the public libraries in Bucharest. The link was in their sidebar for a long time, and I almost forgot about it until a few days ago, when I saw the blog was no more.

I think it would be a shame to just abandon this map, so here is the link to it: the map of all the public libraries in Bucharest / harta sucursalelor bibliotecii metropolitane Bucure┼čti.

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