Traffic has developed into a huge dilemma where people are prevented from using public transport and to ease the issue, the Government should operate bus lanes legally and should increase fines on buses which hang on in bus halts, the Lanka Private Bus Owner’s Association (LPBOA) claimed.
Addressing a Media Briefing in Colombo yesterday (8), President of the LPBOA Gamunu Wijeratne said the Government is not prioritizing public transport although it spent more than Rs 1 billion to study bus lanes and the final report has been handed over by the Korean Company, butl the Government is not implementing the project.
“They spend money on research which ends up in a report and no project being implemented. It is clear to everyone that if bus lanes function properly, traffic can be cut down by half”, Wijeratne said.
Wijeratne pledged that if the Government legally implements bus lanes, the LPBOA will reduce the minimum bus fare from Rs 12 to Rs 10. He said traffic is not only a problem for the public but also tos drivers because earlier a bus could do more than three kilometres but now it had fallen to a mere two kilometres.
“If we need a clear road and good public transportation that is affordable, we should t stop importing three wheelers. Because of these three wheelers we loseg about 1,500 passengers on a daily basis”, he said.
Wijeratne said that even though it’s been a month after reduction of fares some buses do not follow the criteria, adding that there were many complaints about the issue.
“It has arisen because buses don’t carry fare details on buses and passengers are unaware of the deducted fare. The National Transport Commission and the Local Authorities issue the log with modified fare details to bus owners but practically most of the owners are not drivers so they should find another procedure where it will really work”, he said.
Wijeratne emphasized that if Sri Lanka is to gain sustainable development, the Government should give priority to transport.
“More than Health and Education, concern for transport must increase. Sustainable Transport is the way forward for sustainable development”, he said.
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