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Delayed “Park and Ride” recommences from this Friday

The much delayed but very much hyped “Park and Ride” facility is to be recommenced from this Friday in the New Year 2021 onwards, this time from the Makumbura Multimodal Transport Hub, the State Ministry of Vehicle Regulation, Bus Transport Services revealed.

200 low-floor buses will be purchased soon suitable for short-distance travel for the Sri Lanka Transport Board to facilitate the programme.

“The initiative will start from the Makumbura Multimodal Transport Hub, where whoever is driving their personal vehicle on the Southern Expressway and is planning to travel to the inner sections of Colombo could park their vehicle and then board a shuttle service from Kottawa to Colombo,” State Minister Dilum Amunugama said.

It was in May last year that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had suggested that the Park and Ride concept should be adopted immediately to ease the traffic congestion experienced on roads during the morning and evening peak hours throughout the week.

He noted that the workforce traveling to work in their own vehicles needed to be convinced enough to use the public transport system.

The Cabinet of Ministers approved the purchase of 200 low-floor buses suitable for short-distance travel for the Sri Lanka Transport Board to strengthen the commuter transport bus fleet towards this end.

According to the Government Information Department, the State Ministry of vehicle regulation, bus transport services and train compartment and motor car industry plans to launch a public transport service with modern facilities in Colombo and suburbs with parking facilities.

For this purpose, there is a need to purchase 200 buses suitable for short-distance travel which are more comfortable and suitable for short-distance running than the existing buses.

In addition to that, a special app is also to be introduced, so that passengers could purchase their tickets online and will not be required to engage in cash transactions.

The Park and Ride method had been piloted in 2009 under the name “City Liner”. However, it was proved to be unsuccessful due to various reasons.

The operation was then reviewed and shortcomings were analysed through a series of research and development processes, and the idea emerged with the Park and Ride operation integrated with a Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system for the Colombo city.

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