Wednesday, 25 May, 2022

Dhaka Nagar Paribahan

Bus service with a difference

Bus service with a difference
Passengers are getting into a bus of ‘Dhaka Nagar Paribahan’ maintaining discipline at Elephant Road in the capital on Friday.

* No competition among buses

* No picking up and dropping off passengers on roads

* Lowest cost bus service and no bargain over fare 

* Drivers and staff get monthly salary

An experimental new city bus service in a small corridor of Dhaka has brought a relief to passengers, who are holding out hope that such service will bring discipline on the roads in the city.

Under the name of 'Dhaka Nagar Paribahan', the bus service in the pilot project on a 21km route -- from Ghatarchar in Keraniganj to Kanchpur -- has already become popular among the passengers of the route.

The authorities said that an effective public transport system can be introduced in and around the capital in light of the experience of the new route, which was introduced on December 27 last year.

They said the authorities have long been working relentlessly to restore discipline on the city roads but are failing repeatedly due to lake of an effective system.

Meanwhile, the buses of the company have marked the signs of discipline like not competing with each other, charging passengers the lowest fare, not picking up and droppingoff passengers on roads and maintaining stoppages and ticket counters. 

Passengers of the buses said they are satisfied with the service, andhave urged the authorities concerned to expand the service to other routes adding new value to the service, including increasing the number of buses and continuing trips after evening, to make it more popular.

The drivers and staff of the buses are also happy as they are getting a fixed monthly salary under the system.

On September 9, 2018, the government formed a 10-member Bus Route Rationalisation (BRR) Committee with the mayor of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) as the convener to bring discipline on roads by rearranging the complex bus routes of Dhaka and bringing buses under the ownership of few franchises.

The BRR committee rearranged more than 250 bus routes into 42 routes under nine clusters. The clusters are marked with colours code. The Ghatarchar to Kanchpurvia  Motijheel route is one of the routes under  nine clusters which are marked as Green Cluster.

The BRR Committee formed Dhaka Nagar Paribahanwith 30 double-decker BRTC buses and 20 buses of Trans Silva Bus Company and launched the bus service on December 27 last year.

Talking to the Daily Sun, Md Jamal, a passenger of Dhaka Nagar Paribahan who commutes from Jigatola to Chittagong road regularly, said, “ I am happy with the bus service for one reason which is there is no bargain over fare and no competition among buses. I have collected ticket from the counter and I am now sitting calmly without any haggling.”

He said the fare of buses of the company is also comparatively lower than other buses on the route as from Jigatola to Chittagong road, the company charges Tk 45 while local buses charge Tk 55.

“One thing is inconvenient for me ... the company stops the bus service after 10:00pm and I have to take the local buses when I return home,” he said.

The correspondent also talked to Asif Islam, a student, and NurHossain, a shopkeeper, to know their experience with the buses.

Asif said he prefers the service of buses of the company to other busses when he goes to Shyamoli Ideal Polytechnic Institute from his Gulistan residence as it takesa short time.

“I like it as the buses don’t pick up and drop off passengers on roads and that’s why it takes less time to reach my destination than other buses. The number of buses should be increased so that we don’t have to wait at stoppages for a long time,” he said.

Talking to the correspondent, driver Md  Mostafa and staff Mohammad Mainul Islam of a bus of the company said that they were happy getting the monthly salary.

Driver Mostafa said, “I will get Tk 15,000 as monthly salary and Tk 300 as daily allowance while my assistant will get Tk 9,000 as monthly salary and Tk 200 as daily allowance. Our working hours were set eight hours but we are now working 10-12 hours. I hope the authorities will pay us for over time allowance.”

His assistant Mainul said, “We have no relation with taking fare. So we have no bargain over fare. I drop off and pick up passengers at stoppages.”

MahmudulHasan, a ticket seller at Paltan stoppage, is also satisfied with the number of buses.

“When the buses get stuck at Paltan traffic signal, passengers have to wait for a long time. We need to address the problem,” Hasan said.

Talking to the Daily Sun, Chairman of Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC), also a member of the BRR Committee, said, “We are determined to ensure proper service and discipline on the route. We are surveying the number of passengers daily. If there is a necessity of increasing buses on the route, we have the capacity.”

He also said that the drawbacks of the service would be presented to the following meeting of BRR Committee and be addressed to ensure a disciplined service.