Tuesday, May 22, 2018

OK – The Cabinet approved a 12.5% bus fare hike - No its not OK

 –  there should have been a few conditions attached – So now it is NOT OK for the long suffering public! They cannot strike so they don’t count!

When did any of the members of the Cabinet last use a public bus to go anywhere?

I rest my case

If there was anyone with guts, vision, and a real concern for the commuting public, in the Cabinet, he would have surely spoken out forcefully. The fact that these lazy slobs, overweight for the most part turned up after a heavy breakfast, and the fact that they are not the ones having to pay the extra, meant that it was NO SWEAT OF THEIR BACKS to approve the raise.

JUST THINK FOR A WHILE – Take the side of the long suffering commuter.

They come in overcrowded buses, that now take longer to get to their destination due to the traffic that increases every day. There are NO buses after a certain time in the evening, further affecting the commuters who have to hang like strings in overcrowded intercity buses to get to their destinations. So why just a one sided deal for the Private Bus Owners? Yes they now account for 80% of the commuter public transport, but no they have not changed their behavior.

Bring out the rules, Road Rules to begin with. Enforcement of safety and  to prevent overcrowding of buses. How about enforcing uniforms, ticket machines, pre-paid cards for payment, all to ease the hassle of payment, not getting change etc.

Give more licenses by advertising and auction in the open market with time slots that ensure a coverage for longer periods. If it is no economical to do so after hours, then change the time table on a rotational basis, and if that does not work, how about 3 times the charge permitted after 7pm till 5am for those getting into the bus between those times. Allow a free for all in competition now, so quality improves.

Anything damn it, anything to ease the pain of the commuter, which only the commuter feels. HOW CAN YOU SIT IN A CABINET MEETING AND NOT DO ONE THING ON BEHALF OF THE USER OF PUBLIC TRANSPORT?

It is simply unconscionable, that you just allowed this request to pass with a nod. No one had the gumption to raise objections with a list of demands handed out at the meeting. Say 5 requests clearly written, to be a codicil to the approval.

Added later - from a Daily Mirror article about the increased bus fares check link on people's comments



Anonymous said...

Don't the Cabinet understand that there are so few Rs2 coins available on the minimum fare, that if they set it at Rs15, at least they will have to give a receipt for that. Now they take Rs15 and give receipt for Rs12 and say they will give the change later and the bus commuter allows the conductor to pocket his Rs3 - Shameful.

This is the problem when you allow people who are impractical to rule over us.

Of course the alternative is have a NO cash bus system with all people using a top up card so their charge is automatically taken with a receipt, quick too, and the amount of fare income is automatically recorded for Tax purposes, so the Private Bus Owners don't understate their Revenue for tax purposes.

Explain how some Private Bus Owners have got so rich in such a short time please if not for cheating.

Anonymous said...

There should be something called an integrated transport policy, especially for an Urban Area like Colombo, where people travel on average 3 hours to get to work and back. That is simply wrong.

All policies have moved more people from Public to Private transport options, that is why there are so many motorbikes and three wheelers clogging up the traffic.

An integrated policy, comes with adequate quality public buses and trains and different price points, so people can pay more for comfort and a seat, and females not face abuse when travelling.

Merely allowing the Private Bus owners to increase their fares does not solve anything, it only makes matters worse. It makes them rich, it makes the commuter poorer and some commuters to buy a motorbike and go to work, making it a longer commute for everyone. All wrong moves.

You cannot have a policy that solves, if you don't have leaders who use public transport, they have no clue and no incentive to solve anything, so you end up with such nonsensical decisions against the public.

Anonymous said...

There should be a universal chip card that can be used in buses and three wheelers to pay. This will mean less cheating and three wheelers will just have to have meters with this ability to accept cards and which issue a receipt.

The technology is there and it will encourage more people to use public services.

Say encourage employers to give a time barred card valid for a month for say Rs1,000 per employee. It may get them from a motor bike onto a bus and even a car onto a bus, along with improved private bus services that go hand in hand, like a two tier price structure, where seat and AC is guaranteed.

We MUST think of means to get more people to use public transport, not less as is the case at present and when we face gridlock in one year when no vehicle public or private can move everything in Colombo will come to a standstill

Anonymous said...

There is a pre paid card currently available, but most private bus conductors refuse to use it. At least if the Government insisted on them being available for use in every private bus, they can go a long way to regulate how these buses operate and know exactly how much the days takings are and should be essential for the owners