Semi luxury bus service to be prohibited

Semi luxury bus operation will be prohibited shortly as it has become an annoyance rather than a service, Power, Energy, and Commuter Transport Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said yesterday.

Minister Amaraweera also said the private bus crews will not be allowed to play TVs, radios or cassettes extremely loud, causing sound pollution on the bus.

“We have decided to introduce a range of new measures to make the private bus service more commuter-friendly and not a nuisance. A study conducted on the private bus service by the National Transport Commission (NTC) has recommended the winding up of semi-luxury bus service as these bus operators charge double the normal fare from passengers sans any luxury at all in the bus,” Minister Amaraweera said.

Minister Amaraweera said the study has found that there are only a few dirty curtains hanging from the window panes in semi-luxury buses and the blaring sounds of cassettes players and FM radios were unbearable. Accordingly, the NTC will not issue route permits for semi-luxury buses hereafter.

Checkers from the NTC will be regularly deployed to ensure private bus operators do not charge excessively from passengers and also that radios, TVs, and cassettes do not become a nuisance to passengers, Minister Amaraweera said.

The NTC study was conducted in early this year engaging 10,000 passengers chosen from all nine provinces. Almost all those who participated in the study had said that semi-luxury bus service was not necessary.

(Sandun A. Jayasekera)

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