The express bus service between Surya Binayak of Bhaktapur and Ratna Park of Kathmandu has come into operation.
Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Prakash Jwala inaugurated the express bus service at Ratna Park on the occasion of Constitution Day on Wednesday.
According to Ishwar Datta Paneru, information officer at the Department of Transport Management, 25 buses will start operating on the Surya Binayak-Ratna Park route from Thursday as part of the express bus service.
The buses will have a dedicated lane painted red on either side of the road and will operate in two shifts, from 9-11 AM and from 4-6 PM, during rush hours every day. They won’t be stopped at red lights either.
Apart from these buses, only ambulances, fire engines, hearses, and office vehicles carrying employees will be allowed to use the dedicated lane during those periods.
Paneru said that the concept of mass transportation would encourage the use of public transportation and reduce the use of private vehicles.
He also expressed belief that it would help reduce traffic congestion and manage the roads.
According to Paneru, there will be bus stops at 19 different locations including Ratna Park, Bhadrakali, Maitighar, Baber Mahal, New Baneshwar, Shantinagar, Koteshwar, Jadibuti, Kaushaltar, Gatthaghar, Char Dobato and Surya Binayak along the route for the express bus service.
Paneru said that the express bus service is being launched in view of the excessive traffic jams during rush hours.
According to him, it currently takes up to one-and-a-half hours to reach Ratna Park from Surya Binayak during rush hours and their goal is to reduce the time to 45 minutes. “For that, specific locations have been designated for picking and dropping passengers and the buses will not wait for passengers. They will pick and drop passengers within 30 seconds,” he added.
The 25 buses are being operated as part of the express bus service in collaboration with the Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs. These buses are not new but the same big buses that have been operating on the Surya Binayak-Ratna Park route. However, they will have “Express bus service” written at the front to make it easy for commuters to distinguish them from other buses, Paneru said.
Here are some pictures of the inauguration ceremony.