Buses see usual ticket sales for maiden voyages via Padma Bridge

June 25, 2022, 10:50 p.m.

Last modification: June 25, 2022, 10:56 p.m.

Representative image. Photo: Collected


Representative image. Photo: Collected

Bus owners said the usual number of travelers took different routes between Dhaka and southern districts on the first day of the Padma Bridge opening on Sunday, although they had previously forecast a huge rush.

Owners in the southern and southwestern districts of the country said some of their long-haul coaches would start operating through the Padma Bridge, while the rest of the fleet would continue to use ferry services.

All of these inter-district buses once used ferry services at Daulatdia-Paturia or Shimulia-Kathalbari points.

Mosharaf Hossain, general manager of Hanif Enterprise, said: “Our buses will pass through the megastructure from now on. But there is no passenger rush on Sunday.”

Jahir, Manager of Sakura Paribahan in Barishal, said, “We are getting good response from passengers and sold out most of the tickets on Sunday.

He said the operator would increase buses via the bridge if they got more passengers.

About 100 buses from different companies will make their maiden journey via the Padma Bridge on Sunday morning.

Sakura has set the fare at Tk 600 for its air-conditioned buses and Tk 400 for non-air-conditioned buses from Barishal to Dhaka.

The state-owned Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) says it will charge Tk 500 for AC service over the bridge. “We have 14 AC buses prepared at Barishal depot,” said Jahangir Alom, BRTC Barishal depot manager.

He said the number of coaches would increase if BRTC got enough passengers.

On the inauguration day on Saturday, only guests, dignitaries and journalists were allowed to visit the Padma Bridge project site as mass movement was very limited.

But people in general may rush to the project site as soon as their turn comes, causing unusual pressure on local buses from Dhaka and other districts to Mawa and Jazira at the end of the bridge.

Mosharaf also said local buses could face a rush of passengers on Sunday. Bus operators on the Dhaka-Mawa route said they were fully prepared for the added pressure.

Md Zubaer Hossen, Director of FR Enterprise which offers luxury bus service from Mirpur to Mawa, said around 500 buses from different companies are now running on the route.

“We have 40 air-conditioned buses. Buses depart from Mirpur every 15 to 20 minutes,” he said.

Meanwhile, nearly 50 micro-buses from Barishal, which previously made trips to Kathalbari, will extend the journey to the capital.

“We used to drop off passengers at the ferry terminal. But now we will ferry them to Dhaka,” said Tipu, one of the micro-bus drivers. He said the trip to Dhaka via the Padma Bridge could take five hours, but fares would likely be lower than bus fares.

Some buses are also joining the fleet to carry passengers on the Barishal-Dhaka route.

“We are bringing in new buses, and some of them have air conditioning. I hope passengers will prefer our vehicles to micro buses,” bus owner Nizam Uddin said.

Few passengers for Eid tickets in advance

The buses started preselling tickets for Eid on Friday. But there was no rush for tickets on Saturday either.

Prabhat Roy, manager of Shyamoli NR Paribahan, said only a few tickets had been sold at the Gabtoli bus counter until Saturday morning. “Other buses are also facing the same thing. We are just standing idle.”

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