Metro night bus service starts today
KATHMANDU, AUG 17 -
The Kathmandu Metropolitan City ( KMC ), in collaboration with the National Federation of Nepal Transport Entrepreneurs (NFNTE), is set to begin night bus service for the first time in Kathmandu and Lalitpur on Friday. The service will be inaugurated at Shanti Batika, Ratnapark.
Fourteen night metro buses will be operated along six different routes. The service will be operational for thee hours from 8pm and fares will equal to those for day public buses.
According to the KMC , four buses will operate on the Ring Road while the remaining ones will ply on five other routes. Two buses each will run from Satdobato-Lagankhel to Ratnapark, Koteshwor-Sinamangal to Jorpati, Kalanki to Ratnapark, Jorpati to Ratnapark, and Bansbari to Ratnapark. One bus each will run to either side from Koteshwor and Kalanki on the Ring Road.
Officials said the service can be improved upon and extended if the first six months go well. “We will first see the public response and bring further changes to our system,” said KMC Spokesperson Gyanendra Karki.
NFNTA General Secretary Saroj Sitaula said that the first six months would be a trial period. “The service hours, routes and number of buses may be revised on the basis of public response,” he said.
Each night bus with 30 seats will bear the sign ‘Bus operated by the Metropolis’ in neon.
Spokesperson for the Hanumandhoka Police Range Dhiraj Pratap Singh said that police in Kathmandu and Lalitpur have outlined strategies to ensure the security of the buses and commuters. He said that a new security plan had been chalked out considering potential threats such as alcoholism, hostile gangs and pickpockets.
According to Singh, each bus will be guarded by two armed police personnel and a few others in civvies. The bus will be accompanied by a police control room vehicle while personnel will watch bus stops.
The KMC and the Ministry of Finance have allocated Rs 2.5 million and Rs 2 million, respectively, to the NFNTE to meet fuel costs and wages for operators for the first six months in the belief that the service is not commercially viable.
Posted on: 2012-08-17 08:22