Central Asia was until 1990 the stronghold of the parastatal monopoly transport supplier. In the Former Soviet Union (FSU) the state monopoly operators were all highly subisdized. Not only were fares low, but also were a large proportion of passengers legally exempted. When economic liberalization took away the basis for this subsidy the shock was extreme and sudden.
Central governments in many cases addressed the matter by transferring fleets and responsibility for public transport to municipalities, but without making available any additional funding. Many of the legal exemptions and fare controls remained, however. As in Africa, without adequate cash flow the fleets deteriorated. A secondary problem was that the newly independent countries could often not obtain spare parts from suppliers in other parts of the FSU.