New bus system suffers first-day jitters

A new public bus system that reduced and coordinated the number of bus lines from more than 300 to 70 launched in Yangon yesterday, easing traffic congestion but causing some chaos among confused passengers.

The first day of the new system saw fewer buses than expected, though more than 3,700 buses were expected to operate on the first day, according to Yangon Region Transport Authorities.

The shortage of buses and the ensuing delays prompted private buses from express bus lines and from tourism companies to voluntarily offer transportation to commuters who were crowded at bus stops. Other commuters who elected to not use the bus system on its first day used the circular train, which reported a jump in ridership yesterday.

It was learnt that one of the reasons for the shortage of buses was a lack of adhesive stickers that identified the vehicles.

“Buses launched operation late because they took about 30 minutes to put stickers identifying them as part of the new system early this morning. Meanwhile, passengers are not accustomed to the new bus numbers and their routes It is expected to take at least a week for passengers to become accustomed to the new system,” said Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein yesterday.

The imbalance between the number of buses and the passengers was most apparent in Hlinethaya, Thaketa and Thanlyin, it was reported.

One of the aims of the new bus service was to improve road safety by reducing the breaking of traffic rules by buses, said Dr Maung Aung, Secretary of the YRTA.

YRTA has also formed an Operator Team with representatives from bus lines of the new system in order to quickly respond to the chaos caused by the new system.

“It is very difficult to transform from the old to the new system.

There are many challenges and requirements. Anyway, we are committed to establishing the new transport system with good services to the public,” said Dr Maung Aung.

Source: Global New Light of Myanmar

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