The first phase of the Park & Ride bus service was inaugurated at the Makumbura Multimodal Transport Center, Kottawa today (Jan. 15) in the presence of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa as a solution to the heavy traffic congestion surrounding Colombo city limits.
The “Park & Ride” aims to minimize the number of automobiles travelling to and from Colombo and suburbs by providing a comfortable, convenient and safe public bus transportation for passengers and riders who use cars and motorcycles as their means of transportation. It also seeks to reduce environment pollution, time wasted on the road and the mental stress of the passengers.
The luxury buses used for the service will only carry seated passengers and the bus fare will be twice the regular fare. The buses will stop at limited stops to admit passengers and will reach the destination in a lesser time than regular buses. In addition, the staff is trained to offer a disciplined, friendly and attractive service to all the passengers alike. To ensure the smooth functioning of the service, a follow-up inspection will be carried out using new technology on daily basis. It will operate as a Clockwise and Anti Clockwise service covering both arrivals and departures from Colombo and into Colombo.
Passengers are facilitated to park their cars in Makumbura Multimodal Transport Center Vehicle Park free of charge and following the examination of the progress of the program, the space allocated for the cars is expected to be expanded. The buses in the service will travel every 15-minute interval between 6 am and 8 am in the morning and from 4 pm to 9 pm in the evening.
The buses will only travel every 25 minutes between 8 am and 4 pm and a total of 64 trips will take place every day.
“Park & Ride”, public transport service will be rendered in collaboration with the State Ministry of Vehicle Regulation, Bus Transport Services and Train Compartments and Motor Car Industry and Sri Lanka Transportation Board.
In addition, The National Transport Commission, Sri Lanka Police, Road Development Authority, Urban Development Authority, Colombo Municipal Council will also assist the program.
The President was briefed about the app launched by the Ministry of Transport which contains how the program functions and the time table.
The President also traveled in one of the buses deployed to the new “Park & Ride” Service and inspected the facilities as well.
In addition to the new public transport service, the unmanned OREL Store with goods run by Orange Electric was also opened by the President.
Minister of Transport Gamini Lokuge, State Minister Dilum Amunugama, Secretaries of the Line Ministries and other officials were present at the occasion.