Home Bangladesh City bus owners face loss for metro rail
Bangladesh - February 11, 2024

City bus owners face loss for metro rail

Staff Correspondent : The Dhaka city bus owners are in trouble as they are incurring losses after the launching of metro rail services on the Mirpur and Abdullahpur routes in the capital.
The bus owners are complaining that the authorities are not allowing them to change the routes.
Both the authorities and owners said that only improved bus services, instead of the existing services with old and dilapidated buses, can cope with the current situation. Dhaka Metropolitan Police officials said that they are observing the situation and a decision will be taken after this Eid-ul-Fitr.
Metro rail services started to carry passengers from all 16 stations on the 20.1-kilometre-long Uttara-Motijheel section between 7:10am and 8:40pm from January 20.
Before the introduction of the metro rail, the city buses for Mirpur-12 and Abdullahpur routes, which run from Mirpur-12 and Abdullahpur through densely populated Motijheel, Gulistan, Jatrabari, Saydabad, Sadarghat and Azimpur areas, were seen heavily packed with sitting and standing passengers daily.
Currently, these buses are seen running with fewer passengers, mostly without standing ones.
Some passengers said that they prefer the metro rail for its quick services although the train service is costlier than the bus service.
The minimum fare of buses on these routes is Tk 10, while the minimum fare on metro rail is Tk 20.
According to the Dhaka Road Transport Owners Association, over 300 buses, mostly 36-seated, under Bikalpa Auto Service, Shikhor Paribahan Limited, Bihanga Paribahan Limited, Himachal Paribahan Limited, Swadhin Paribahan Limited, Mirpur Link and Safety Enterprise bus companies, now run on the Mirpur-12 route plying through Mirpur-12, Gulistan, Motijheel, Sadarghat, Saydaband, Jatrabari and Azimpur.
Around 200 buses under Bikash Paribahan Limited, Airport-Bangabandhu Avenue Paribahan and VIP Paribahan now operate on the Abdullahpur-Azimpur, Gulistan and Saydabad routes.
Mahbubur Rahman, Bikalpa Auto Service managing director and DRTOA organising secretary, said that since 2012 he has been running buses on the Mirpur 12-Motijheel route via Agargaon, Shahbagh, Press Club and Gulistan.
‘Now I am running 40 buses on this route,’ he said, adding that after the recent introduction of the metro rail services he sold some buses due to losses.
He said that earlier he got Tk 2,000-2,500 against each bus daily but introduction of the metro service has caused his earning come down to Tk 500-600 per bus.
‘We cannot change the bus routes as the meeting of the Regional Transport Committee is not taking place,’ he added.
Bangladesh Road Transport Authority chairman Nur Mohammad Mazumder said that the committee is headed by the police and as per an earlier decision no old buses can change the routes inside the Dhaka city.
‘The bus owners will have to improve their services to sustain,’ he added.
Khandaker Enayet Ullah, secretary general of the owner’s association, echoed the BRTA chairman.
‘There is no alternative to improving the bus service,’ he said and added that discussion is going on with the police about holding the RTC meeting.
Md Habibur Rahman, Airport-Bangabandhu Avenue Paribahan managing director and another organising secretary of the association, said that under his company 60 buses ran on the Abdullahpur-Bangabandhu Avenue route.
‘Since the opening of metro rail services till 8:30pm, we incurred losses and if more trains are added to the metro rail services, there will be more losses,’ he said.
Earlier he got Tk 2,500-2,800 against each bus daily, but now the earning has come down to Tk 1,800-2,200,’ he said.
‘If I could run my buses on other routes I would not have faced such losses. Now I am considering shifting my buses on long routes,’ Habibur added.
Both leaders said that the metro rail fare is almost double the bus fares.
As an example, they mentioned that the fare on the Pallabi-Motijheel route is Tk 40 on buses and Tk 80 on metro rail.
The leaders also said that to beat the metro rail services the bus owners have no alternatives but to improve their services.
Otherwise, many would be forced to leave the business, they added.
DMP additional commissioner (traffic) Md Munibur Rahman told New Age on Thursday that they are considering some alternatives like re-aligning the buses on other routes based on demand.
‘Many stakeholders are involved with this,’ he mentioned and added that after discussing with all they would take an integrated decision after the Eid-ul-Fitr.
Currently, the Mass Rapid Transit Line 6 Project, popularly known as metro rail, is running every day except Friday.
Every train can carry 2,308 passengers and daily around 1.30 lakh-1.60 lakh passengers are using the services.
The prime minister launched the country’s first-ever electricity-powered elevated and air-conditioned rail system on the 11.73-kilometre-long Uttara-Agargaon section on December 28, 2022.
On November 4, the services from Agargaon to Motijheel section began, initially operating from 7:30am to 11:30am.
The entire MRT Line 6 Project on the 21.26-kilometre-long Uttara-Kamalapur route is scheduled for inauguration in December 2025.
The government is working to build a network of six MRT lines in Dhaka city by 2030 with aims to reduce traffic congestion and improve the environment in the capital and urban areas around it.
According to the Dhaka Road Transport Owners Association, currently 3,014 buses under 97 companies operate in the capital.

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