The much-awaited trial run of a new city bus service in a small corridor of Dhaka will begin on December 1, under an ambitious project that aims to eventually put in place an effective public transport system in and around the capital.
In fact, Dhaka and its outskirts today account for more private vehicles than any other city in Bangladesh. The reason behind this unbridled rise in the number of private vehicles can be attributed to the lack of a robust public transport system. Also, most of the buses that ply in Dhaka are "unfit".
Dhaka South City Corporation's (DSCC)
Mayor Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh announced the date of the trial run at a media briefing on Tuesday, following the 18th meeting of the Bus Route Rationalisation Committee (BRRC) at Nagar Bhaban.
“We held our first meeting on October 6 last year after assuming charge. We have been working relentlessly for the last one year in order to bring discipline on the city roads. The implementation of the city bus route rationalisation was very tough," he said.
"Today, I am able to give you a date. The buses will run between the pilot route of Ghatarchar to Kanchpur under the new process and it will be able to give standard services to people," the Mayor added.
Taposh, however, made it clear that no old buses will be allowed to operate on the pilot route. The buses purchased after January 1 in 2019 that are plying now on this route will be included in the new service. "New buses will be added on the route."
In all, 120 new buses will ply on this route. “Everyone, including the transport owners, have already agreed to this proposal,” said Taposh.
The DNCC Mayor said that the design of the buses plying on this route will be finalised on October 20. "Besides, the stakeholders have been asked to suggest the colour of the buses on this route by October 14. We hope to instill discipline in public transport system in Dhaka in phases.”
Barrister Taposh, thanking the bus owners’ association and the workers' representatives, said that Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader and Local Government and Rural Development (LGRD) Minister Tajul Islam will inaugurate the Ghatarchar to Kachpur route.
The DSCC Mayor said all formalities are almost complete. “Yes, by December 1, the remaining activities will be completed. Once the green cluster is completed, we will start working with the remaining clusters.”
Dhaka Metropolitan Police commissioner Md Shafikul Islam, BRTA chairman Nur Mohammad Mazumder, BRTC chairman Md Tajul Islam, Rajuk chairman ABM Amin Ullah Nuri and CEO of DSCC Farid Uddin Ahmed were present at the meeting, among others.