Water Transport to Begin Operation in Early June

Water vehicles will start serving commuters in early June with ships and boats bought from Thailand and Australia, according to Daw Tint Tint Lwin, CEO of Tint Tint Myanmar.

The Yangon regional government had promised to implement a water taxi system on the Hlaing River and Nga Moe Yeik Creek. Tint Tint Myanmar won the tender to operate this system.

“We applied the tender because this has been my dream since my childhood: to make a river ferry similar to that in European countries. Now I have got the chance and I will do my best,” Daw Tint Tint Lwin said.

In its execution of the scheme, the firm will not use public cash or consider a joint venture. It aims to run everything with its own budget.

“The success of this business does not depend solely on financial resources. It also needs experience and measured risks. We will provide a good service.

“Our hope is that the project will cost around US$20 to US$37 million [roughly around K37 billion]. We will take a project loan from KBZ Bank,” the CEO added.

The water transport system will run three routes within the Hlaing river, Nga Moe Yeik Creek and the river near Thanlyin township. The first phase, which will run from Insein to Botahtaung township, will begin in early June.

Initially, the government hoped to that the system can rely on small boats as water taxis.

However, the company started dubbing the project as the “Yangon Water Bus” because ships, as well as boats, will be carrying passengers. Boats like a Catamaran, which can carry 180-200 passengers, will be used.

“We already hired a technician from Sydney who has about 15 years of experience in high-stakes river ferrying,” she said.

The three routes will need a total of about 50-70 ships and boats, which the company has imported from Sydney and Thailand.

“The types of ships vary depending on routes. In Hlaing River, we can use all types of ships or boats but not in Nga Moe Yeik Creek. We have ordered 10 ships from Thailand and they will arrive in Myanmar within the next 10 days.

“A total of 20 ships are currently being built with Myanmar engineers working alongside a technician. We hope that about 10 ships will be ready at the end of this month,” she explained.

Jetties are still being constructed and are slated for completion at the end of May. Along the Hlaing River, there will be eight jetties, and 10 jetties along Nga Moe Yeik Creek and five jetties along Thanlyin.

Ticket fees will start from K300 and go up to K500, depending on the passenger capacity of individual jetties.

Tickets must be bought at a counter through a computer system and cash will not be acceptable.

The firm has also installed an electronic payment system: passengers will be able to pay using a mobile phone application. All tickets will include travel insurance from IKBZ.

“We will not allow the passengers to board if the boats are full. A counter will show how many people have boarded the boat.

“As part of our safe measures, a life jacket will be available in every seat. A total of six to eight crews will serve passengers,” said Daw Tin Tint Lwin.

All ships and boats will have a Global Positioning System (GPS) and will be monitored through a system imported from Hungary which can trace ships and manage traffic through a control room. Ships will run every 20 minutes and have an onboard LED to indicate boarding and departure time.

“From Insein to Botahtaung, it will take one and half hours. Ships will stop at a jetty for about 15 minutes, and all operations must be on-time,” she highlighted.

For employment opportunities, the firm will favour people who reside along the river or creek, and salary will be up to K150, 000 a month with substantial job training provided.

Before conducting actual runs, the company will perform test runs for a week with their crews.

“This system will be a flagship in Myanmar’s history and hopefully passengers will cooperate with us to become the best system. We can’t fail because we’ve invested a lot of money,” said Daw Tint Tint Lwin.


Source: Myanmar Times

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