[as of 2011]

Founded: 1792
Population: 148 917 (2010)

A capital of the breakaway Pridnestrovian (Transnistrian) Moldovan Republic. A relatively modern city with very few surviving historic buildings.



Transnistria is a breakaway territory located mostly on a strip of land between the Dniester River and the eastern Moldovan border to Ukraine. Since its declaration of independence in 1990, and especially after the War of Transnistria in 1992, it is governed de facto as the Pridnestrovian Moldovan Republic (PMR). The region is known in English as Transdniestria (or Transnistria), which names are adaptations of the Romanian name of the region meaning "beyond the river Dniester" (or "Nistru" in Romanian). The Republic of Moldova does not recognize the secession, considers territories known as the PMR to be a part of Moldova, however, doesn’t have any control of the territories in question.

Transnistria's sovereignty is unrecognized by any United Nations member state and it has no diplomatic relations with any of them. In practical terms, however, the Republic possesses all common entities of an independent state, from independent government and ministries, to its own army, the police and the border controls and customs. Hence, a visit to the Transnistrian Republic involves all the usual hurdles associated with crossing the border of the independent state (no visas required, however a registration with local authorities is needed).

Lawlessness, including border shakeups, Transnistria used to be famous for, is a thing of the past, as the Republic seems to have recently adapted the new law-and-order stance. A common perception of the Transnistrian Republic as the post-USSR Communist theme park no longer holds true. Transnistria does, however, increasingly feel as it is a part of Russia. Russia and Belarus remain the Republic’s closest allies. The Russian is a primary language.

Poverty is rampant throughout the Republic. However, crime is practically non-existent. The national republican self-conscience and pride are high.



The trolleybus network covers most of the city. Trolleybuses used to assume a primary role in the local transportation scheme.

Nowadays the trolleybus undertaking barely sustains daily operations due to chronic lack of funds. Routes and times of operation are being cut continuously. Thus, the trolleybus service is becoming somewhat marginal, with private minibus operators taking the lead (there are no full-size diesel buses operating in the city).


The trolleybus operation started on 01.11.1967.


The interurban trolleybus line between Tiraspol and Bendery was opened on 19.06.1993, which event was to commemorate a 1 year anniversary of the Bendery Tragedy (the beginning of the Transnistrian War of 1992). The new service between the two cities was appropriately numbered Line 19.

Construction of a line to the village of Ternovka started in the 1990s, but was never finished. All overhead support poles remain, however, elements of the overhead itself are now removed. The length of the line was to be 3 km (two-way).


Length within city limits: 50.8 km (one way).
Length of the interurban section Tiraspol – Bendery between city limits: 11 km (one-way).

The overhead is in fair state of repair, with dewirements kept at minimum.


Only the Line 2 and the interurban Line 19 see frequent and reliable service. The Lines 1, 3 and 6 are serviced with one vehicle each, operating on a meaningless hourly headway. The Line 3 operates during rush hours only. Service on the Lines 4 and 7 that operate through the industrial park was recently reduced. The Line 9 Mikrorayon "Zapadniy" - AOZT "TIROTEKS" via Karl Liebnechta Ul. and the central market was recently suspended. The remaining Line 2 serves the same corridor as the suspended Line 9 did, however, it runs via 25 Oktyabrya Ulitsa through the formal city center and misses the central market. A brief 2009 experiment with the extended version of the Line 6 between Mikrorayon "Zapadniy" - TS "Ternopol" via the industrial park and ATB-4 ended with the service being cut back to its original version, Mikrorayon "Zapadniy" – ATB-4. There is no late evening trolleybus service in the city due to shortage of drivers.

Services operated, vehicle usage, intervals and hours of operation:
(vehicles peak / off-peak / interval peak / off-peak / hours of operation)

1 Mikrorayon "Zapadniy" – Zh.D. Vokzal ( 1 / 1 / 58 / 58 / 5:30-18:00 )
2 Mikrorayon "Zapadniy" – TS "Tiraspol" ( 12 / 6 / 6-7 / 13 / 6:00-21:00 )
3 AOZT "TIROTEKS" – Zh.D. Vokzal ( 1 / - / 58 / - / 6:30-9:30; 15:00-18:00 )
4 AOZT "TIROTEKS" – ATB-4, counterclockwise loop ( 4 / 4 / 16-17 / 16-17 / 6:00-19:00 )
6 Mikrorayon "Zapadniy" – ATB-4 ( 2 / 1 / 32 / 64 / 6:00-9:00; 14:00-18:00 )
7 AOZT "TIROTEKS" – ATB-4, clockwise loop ( 4 / 4 / 16-17 / 16-17 / 6:00-19:00 )
19 Tsentralniy Rynok – Bendery, Ul. Lazo ( 6 / 6 / 10 / 10 / 6:00-22:00 )

The interurban Line 19 is operated jointly with 3 trolleybuses provided by the Tiraspol undertaking, and 3 trolleybuses provided by the Bendery undertaking. The Line 6 was recently operated during rush hours only with one trolleybus working on a 64 minute headway, but it is now operated all day long with one additional trolleybus added during rush hours. There is no service on the Line 1 when the crew takes a 1 hour lunch break around noon, during which time trolleybuses do not serve the city’s main Railway Station.


The former fleet:

ZiU-5 ZiU-5


There are 67 vehicles on the books, all are variations of the base ZiU-682 model, except for two articulated ZiU-683V trolleybuses. 47 of these are considered an active fleet, with 20 vehicles being out of service, awaiting government’s permission to be written off.

ZiU-682V ZiU-682V: 16 (1983-1991) [1 ex-Moscow (2006); 3 ex-Minsk (2009)]
ZiU-682G ZiU-682G: 44 (1991-1996) [2 ex-Moscow (2006); 2 ex-Minsk (2009)]
ZiU-682GN ZiU-682GN: 1 (199?) [ex-Minsk (2009)]
ZiU-682 / BKM ZiU-682 / BKM: 4 (rebuilts: 2003-2006) [ex-Minsk (2009)]
ZiU-683V ZiU-683V articulated: 2 (1993)

27 trolleybuses operate in daily service.

There were no new vehicle deliveries since 1994. Most operable vehicles are practically made of a mix of spare parts from multiple donor vehicles. Many trolleybuses that are considered a part of the active fleet actually remain inoperable, as they become spare part donors. Moreover, some trolleybuses are in different stages of, or are waiting for rebuilding. The undertaking is capable of rebuilding up to 3-4 vehicles annually. Many spare parts for trolleybuses are manufactured at the depot.

One of the two ZiU-683V articulated vehicles is undergoing restoration, an unprecedented move, considering that Russian-built articulated vehicles are highly uneconomical. The other articulated trolleybus is out of service.

The undertaking completely depends on second hand rolling stock handouts from Russia and Belarus, both of which countries are Transnistria Republic’s ideological allies. The most recent acquisitions are 3 trolleybuses from Moscow (2006) and 15 from Minsk (2009). Some of these second-hand trolleybuses required an onsite restoration upon delivery. 3 of the ex-Minsk trolleybuses still remain unpacked. Second hand trolleybuses from Belarus appear to be the best preserved vehicles in the fleet. .

Usage of material found herein for public display is possible with authors' permission only.