Still working on BRT system plan along the Galle road – Dr. Lalithasiri Gunaruwan
The present Government has commenced the initial paperwork for a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, a plan which is in line with the proposals of the previous regime, where the first phase would be launched along Galle Road in Colombo, Secretary to the Transport Ministry Secretary, Dr. Lalithasiri Gunaruwan said last week.
Speaking to The Nation Gain, Dr. Gunaruwan stated that the project was at its very basic stage and therefore the technicalities such as investments, funding and the companies involved were yet to be finalized.
“What has been decided is that the project would be started in Colombo. The system would cover from Fort to probably Moratuwa or Panadura.
However, a lot of research and study needs to be done pertaining to road planning, vehicular movements and connectivity of buses and trains,” he added.
He stated that the ministry was conducting feasibility studies to launch the system in urban areas to enhance efficiency in transportation.
Accordingly, the Sri Lanka Government is planning to develop an effective and people-friendly public transport system which would provide economic benefit to the country.
Reports stated that 60 percent public and 40 percent private transport composite would be maintained in the system.
In 2006, although Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) had first mooted plans for a BRT system in the Colombo metropolitan region, the three-year project which had then estimated to cost Rs. 12 billion did not come to fruition.
In 2013, JICA Sri Lanka had launched a study for a transport master plan for the Greater Colombo region, with JICA being ready to finance the first section of a mass rapid transit (MRT) system.
According to experts, Colombo’s traffic is expected to slow down in future as incomes rise and people drop low quality bus transport. Experts predict that Colombo’s average traffic speed may drop from 21.6 to 17.4 kilometers per hour in 2021 and further drop to 9.1 kilometers in 2031 unless public transport is changed.