Kathmandu: The bus rapid transit service has come into operation from Ratnapark of Kathmandu to Suryabinayak of Bhaktapur from today. The service is operated in collaboration of the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport and the Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs. Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Prakash Jwala inaugurated the bus service from Shantibatika, Ratnapark. A dedicated lane has been managed for operating the rapid bus service on the 13.4 kilometres long route.
The buses for rapid transit service will operate from 9 am to 11 am and from 4pm to 6 pm from Thursday, it is said. The government said the bus rapid transit service has been brought into operation to improve the public transport sector in Kathmandu Valley. Twenty-five buses with 40 seats have been allocated for the set time, said Uddhav Rijal, Director General, the Department of Transport Management. It takes around two hours to travel from Suryabinayak to Ratnapark by public transport during office hours at present.
The bus rapid transit service will reduce this travel time to 45 minutes. There will be bus stops at 19 different locations including Ratnapark, Maitighar, Babarmahal, New Baneshwor, Shantinagar, Koteshwor, Jadibuti, Kaushaltar, Gaththaghar, Chardobato and Suryabinayak. The government on March 14, 2023 decided to operate the bus rapid transit service in Kathmandu Valley in a bid to manage the public transport. The buses will run in a gap of one kilometre distance during the office time.
“The government has started this service to convince people that one can reach their destination in the given time using the public transport. This is only the beginning,” Director General Rijal said, adding that separate lane has been managed for the buses to be operated for this service and the lane has been painted red. No other vehicles can use this lane during the office time. Inaugurating the bus service, Minister Jwala said the bus rapid transit service has been operated on this route during office time in the first phase to make the public transport in the urban area systematic and to convince the people about the public transport.
“The government’s campaign will not be limited to this alone. We will improve upon and expand it. Bus rapid transit service will be expanded to areas including the airport, Ring Road, Balaju, Maharajgunj, Thankot and Lalitpur, among other places,” he added. Bagmati Province Government Minister for Labour, Employment and Transport, Laxman Lamsal stressed on the need of increasing people’s trust towards public transport.
Secretary at the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport Keshav Kumar Sharma maintained that the bus rapid transit service has been operated as an effort for making the Valley’s public transport system well-managed. Acting Inspector General of Police Deepak Thapa underscored on making the general public aware for improving the public transport. He added that the police is committed to the safety of the vehicles operated on the dedicated lane. Stating that same laws governing the other public transport would be attracted in the case of the vehicles operating on the dedicated route as well, he urged operating vehicles by complying to the traffic rules.