Bigger buses on the way

The Road Safety and Transport Authority (RSTA) has planned a grand project for Thimphu and Phuentsholing bus services. Under this plan bigger buses as compared to the current ones will be employed.

The plan is not yet implemented but it remains on top of RSTA’s agenda.

Under the plan more specific lanes and routes will be designated for the bus service. The project will be funded by private individuals and partially by the Bhutan government.

It will begin with the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in which the main priority is the bus service which should operate in designated routes only.

The chief of planning and policy division (PPD) under the information and communications ministry, Bhim Lal Sharma said the introduction of the BRT system in the capital is yet another step toward building an eco-friendly development process. He said “the buses will run on diesel and if it proves successful then gradually it will be upgraded to hybrid technology”.

The main objective is to attract private investors who would then handle most of the investments. Nonetheless the government will monitor and assist the private individuals in the initial stages.

“The main objective is complete privatization of the service which would happen in a phased manner,” said a deputy chief transport officer.

The RSTA needs to make another presentation to the finance ministry and if advised to proceed further it will be forwarded to the cabinet as well for approval. The first presentation was made by the MoIC secretary Dasho Kinley Dorji to the GNHC, but the commission was not clear on the financial management.

The commission had advised the RSTA to form a group of experts from the finance ministry to advice on the matter.

When the BRT system comes into action the existing city buses will either be sent to the dzongkhags for local services or will be used for inter-city routes.

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