More buses to improve public transport

27 new buses to crisscross the city’s roads

Yangyel lhaden

In a grand ceremony that included free bus rides, Thimphu Thromde City Bus Services (CBS) yesterday launched 27 new city buses equipped with a Global Positioning System and facilities such as card readers. smart, connected to the Gakyid Ride application to improve the reliability and efficiency of urban public transport.

From today, the buses will use new bus lines and bus stops identified by the Geographic Information System (GIS) of Thromde. A bus will arrive at a stop on the trunk or the main road from Babesa to Dechencholing within 10 minutes.

However, there is still work to be done to keep operations running smoothly. Infrastructure such as bus stops (shelter, bay, signage), terminals and site development are not yet in place, according to the GIS study for CBS.

According to a GIS study, 168 bus stops and a terminal north and south of Thimphu have been identified. Without a bus terminus, the new city buses are temporarily parked in the Thromde garage in Babesa.

Thimphu Thromde GIS agent Sonam Zangmo said a budget of 7 million Nu (M) has been allocated for CBS, of which approximately Nu 3M would be used to build eight bus shelters, and the remaining budget has been allocated. the construction of bus terminals and site improvements.

She said that in the next fiscal year, they will come up with an additional budget to build the necessary infrastructure for CBS. “It will take two years to build all the infrastructure, according to the budget.

New buses are equipped with smart cards and GPS coordinated audio systems to warn passengers

The new city buses are adapted for people with disabilities, with ramps and audio notifications letting passengers know when buses are arriving at stops. However, even though buses have ramps at bus stops, the ramps do not touch the ground to help disabled passengers.

Pema Dorji, a passenger who uses a wheelchair, said he was happy with the ramp on the buses, but would still need help getting on the bus. “There is a chance that I will fall. “

Sonam Zangmo said that site development and infrastructure construction will be carried out according to priorities. “We have to use the limited budget carefully, taking into account all the provisions without compromising on quality. “

City bus operation

Including the new buses, there are 68 buses with CBS. As of today, 44 city buses will crisscross the road.

During the first phase, buses will run on five of the 10 subsidiary routes: Royal Thimphu College, Chamgang, Hongtsho, Debsi, Motithang and Yangchenphug Higher Secondary School.

Secondary routes are intended for places that are not covered by the main route. At each bus stop, audio notifications in Dzongkha will inform passengers of the location.

To revive the traditional local names of the places, the city bus stops are named accordingly. For example, the names of the bus stops in Babesa read as Tshalu Barp, Barp Lhakhang and Tshalu Murphey. The bus will stop at each bus stop for one minute.

CBS Director Sangay Dorji said there was no policy to provide a priority lane for public transport in the country, which would hamper our goal of ensuring that a bus reaches a stop every 10 minutes. “The support of the Road and Transport Safety Authority and traffic officials is important to ensure that buses do not get stuck in traffic jams and reach a bus stop every 10 minutes. “

Sangay Dorji said the new buses were not equipped with stop bells for disembarking because passengers are not used to them, while in the past some have misused or destroyed them. “We will start this in the future.”

Sangay Dorji said that not all city buses were able to operate as 20 new drivers are still being trained at training institutes.

He said the new drivers will complete the training next year and that CBS plans to extend the city bus schedule until 10 p.m. when the new drivers arrive.

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