LPBOA wants professional body to implement joint timetable | Daily News

LPBOA wants professional body to implement joint timetable


The Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA) has proposed that a separate professional body should be established to regulate and implement the proposed joint time table project between Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) and private buses.

LPBOA Chairman Gamunu Wijeratne addressing a media briefing held in Colombo yesterday said that the only way to develop the public transport system is to implement the joint time table project.

Implementation of the joint timetable should not be done superficially. But, there should be private and public partnership to practically do this. There should be a separate time table unit to undertake all practical and administrative problems that may arise during the implementation of the programme.

In order to implement this project effectively, a passenger demand survey should be conducted on islandwide bus routes.

Even though the government has said the joint time table would be effective from March this year, there is no such a project yet.

He said that for over 13 years all the transport ministers have made very feeble attempts to implement the joint timetable.

"But, nobody managed to do it. It has now become a huge joke. We have no hope on a joint timetable," he said.

Wijeyratne noted that the private bus operators even went to the Supreme Court to get a court order on the matter. "Even after receiving a court order, the authorities failed to implement the combined system.

He said the Transport Minister should at least now take appropriate action to implement this project taking instructions from experts and the professionals in this field. Otherwise, the public transport system would collapse shortly. There are 20000 private buses including 3,000 private buses regulated by the National Transport Commission while the balance of 17000 private buses are regulated by the Western Province Road

Passenger Transport Authority (WPRPTA) In addition, Wijeyratne said that the bus industry is in an irrecoverable state of devastation due to the incompetency of the transport authorities and their inability to improve the industry.

"The industry is suffering gravely. There is no way of getting it back on its feet ,looking at the way they handle it. For example, during the last five months, a large number of three-wheelers have been imported to the country. Therefore, a regulatory mechanism is needed for the three-wheeler industry since it is attracting youth labour

massively resulting a dearth of manpower in the private bus industry. "If the relevant authority would not address this issue properly, we will have to get down drivers from India," he added.

Meanwhile, a proposal requesting for a separate bus lane from Pettah to Battaramulla has been handed over to the Prime Minister's Sectary Saman Ekanayake recently. This proposal was formulated based on the recommendations of a survey conducted with the participation of all stake holders in the industry including NTC, Megapolice, Police,Moratuwa University, CMC, LPBOA, WPRPTA,RDA and SLTB on the instruction of Transport and Logistics Management Senior lecturer Prof. Amal Kumarage. If there is a separate bus lane, commuters will be able to reach Pettah from Battaramulla within 45 minutes,"he added. 


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