Bhutan airport shuttle bus service, the first of its kind in Bhutan was inaugurated by Lyonpo Karma Donnen Wangdi on 4th may, 2019 at the bus terminal in Lungtenzampa, Thimphu. RSTA Director General Pemba Wangchuk, Drukair CEO Tandi Wangchuk, Tashi Air CEO Phala Dorji, Zhung Dratshang’s Tsu-la Lopen and many other dignitaries were also present to grace the occasion. This airport shuttle bus service was initiated by the former cabinet secretary Kunzang Wangdi.
Lyonpo in his speech stated, ‘’The introduction of such professional service is very timely- if not delayed, given the increase in the frequency of air traffic especially during the recent years’’.
RSTA Director General Pemba Wangchuk also said that ‘’Even though we have a lot of buses plying towards different destinations, we wanted another bus service with some additional changes since people will always look for a better service and for long we didn’t have any buses plying towards Paro Airport so everyone had no option but to take their personal car but now we hope that with the coming up of this service, passengers will come in large numbers and lessen the no. of people who take their car to airport consequently leading to no traffic congestion as such.”
According to RSTA, this shuttle bus service will not suffer any loss as estimation was already done and accordingly the ticket rate was fixed. RSTA is also looking forward for more initiatives like this where people can at least travel with some comfort and luxury thereby slowly promoting public transport. RSTA initially made a criterion of such buses based on which the current owner of the airport shuttle bus service came forward.
With the introduction of this service, the vehicular emission and other environmental issues are also expected to be reduced. The three buses have been bought from India in accordance to the criteria set by RSTA and it will commute daily from its parking site in Changlimethang, Thimphu as well as at the Arrival hall in Paro. The buses have WIFI, Charging ports, reclining seats, AC and heaters. Ticketing will be done online through DRUK-RIDE app. Each bus has 32 seats out of which the first priority to reserve a seat will be given to Women, Children, Physically challenged and old people. The ticket will cost Nu.200 per person.
Kunzang Wangdi also plans to establish business partnership with Druk Air Corporation and Tashi Airlines in the near future and envisions on buying electrical buses which is not affordable as of now.
Lyonpo said ‘’The Royal Government of Bhutan and the Ministry of information and Communication in particular, has always placed priority, for introduction of mass public transport service in the country’’.