The trial run of Dhaka Nagar Paribahan started between Ghatarchar and Kanchpur via Motijheel and Signboard on December 26

Bus operators claim a pilot of the bus route rationalization initiative is failing to attract passengers, although a report of the Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA) claims it has been successful.

The trial run of Dhaka Nagar Paribahan started between Ghatarchar and Kanchpur via Motijheel and Signboard on December 26. The Bus Route Rationalization Committee (BRRC) has called a meeting on Monday to analyze the performance of the service.

Trans Silva, a private operator, has already dubbed the initiative a losing project. The state-owned Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) has admitted that the new service has not attracted enough passengers, but it expects demand to pick up in future.

Thirty of the 50 buses on the route belong to the BRTC, and 20 to Trans Silva.

Benefit, limitations of the pilot project

A vigilance team of DTCA has already submitted four weekly reports and a summary to the BRRC on the status of the trial of Nagar Paribahan.

According to the report, passengers are now able to ride buses and get tickets in a disciplined manner, but a few passengers ask that they be dropped off at places other than designated bus stops.

Drivers do not attempt to overtake other buses of the fleet, as income is being shared between Trans Silva and BRTC regardless of the number of passengers on each bus, as per guidelines. As a result, there are fewer accidents than on traditional bus routes.   

There are some illegally operating buses still on the route, causing interruptions to the service. The problem can be overcome through integrated enforcement, said the report.

“Some limitations have been noted but we marked the pilot project as an effective initiative,” said Dhrubo Alam, deputy transport planner of DTCA.

“The frequency of passengers will increase gradually, once operators invest more,” he told Dhaka Tribune.

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