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Proposal to reduce city's bus routes to 42

Munima Sultana | November 11, 2020 00:00:00

A proposal to reduce city's bus routes from 291 to 42 and divide its area into nine clusters for operating public transports under the company system has been submitted to the bus route rationalization committee.

It has also been proposed to operate buses on 42 routes among 366 approved routes in the city under 22 bus companies after a revision and updating study report on bus route rationalisation (BRR).

Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA) prepared the revised report in support of Infrastructure Investment Facility Company (IIFC) which came up for discussion at the meeting of the BRR committee, formed under the leadership of Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh.

The 13th meeting held on Tuesday at Nagar Bhaban was attended by all committee members. Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor Mohammad Atiqul Islam also took part in it online.

Official sources said the revised study found that 9,027 buses have been plying in the city on 291 active routes which were far behind at the time of previous studies.

They also said it has been proposed to operate buses on 42 routes in urban clusters with six colour buses-pink, blue, maroon, orange, green and violet.

A DTCA official said the meeting did not discuss the business model as it would be later finalised but said there would be discussion among all stakeholders to finalise it.

The meeting set a target to launch BRF by December 2021 proposing to introduce pilot route from Ghatar Char to Narayanganj within few months.

The DSCC mayor asked the DTCA, which is the secretariat of the special committee, to finalise the revised study after holding meetings with all stakeholders including Dhaka Metropolitan Police, bus owners and workers within a month for placing it to the next committee meeting in December.

While briefing the journalists, the mayor said long-route buses would not be allowed to enter the city after introduction of BRF. The passengers would enter the city through metro rail, bus rapid transit or city buses to ease traffic congestion.

The DTCA-IIFC studies previous reports when 152 routes were in operation in the city in 2015.

BRR has been proposed into the strategic transport plan (STP) in 2005 for introducing bus route franchise (BRF) by withdrawing all small, medium and even single bus owned company from the street.

However, several studies were done during the last 10 years but the franchise system bus operation could not be established due to failure to formulate an acceptable business model and non-cooperation from mainly small companies.

According to the revised study, buses on suburban routes have been divided into north, north-west and south directions. Dhaka Chaka and Gulshan Chaka have been accommodated in the city bus services.

However, regarding bus depot for all companies, the study proposed setting up 10 depots outside the city.

The mayor told journalists that a feasibility study is being conducted to suggest setting up of bus depots which would be completed by March next.

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