Water Bus to launch on 7 October 2017

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AFTER a four-month delay, the new water taxi system is going to officially run on October 7, said Ko Tun Naing Lin, a spokesperson of Tint Tint Myanmar Company.

The press conference for the water taxi was held in last May with hopes for the route to start in early June. But due to a delay in the lack of permission from the government, the project has only just being given the green light to begin operations this month.

“We will hold the opening ceremony on October 6 and officially run [the system] on October 7 for first route. All passengers must use a prepaid card and can easily buy them at ports. They need to buy the card but we can’t say the exact card price. We defined K300 for the trip,” Ko Tun Naing Lin said.

There are a total of six ports along the route from Insein to Botahtaung townships. On October 7, the water taxis will start routes from Botahtaung township and near Augn Zaya bridge, Insein township. Schedules will be displayed at the ports.

“Passengers can ride by buying an ‘Anypay’ card at ticket counters of ports. The other two routes will run very soon,” he added.

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.

The water transport system will run three routes: the Hlaing river, Nga Moe Yeik creek and the river near Thanlyin township. The first phase will run a route from Insein to Botahtaung township. Initially, the government had hoped that the system would rely on just small boats as water taxis.

The three routes will now need a total of about 50-70 ships and boats, which the company has imported from Sydney and Thailand. For first route – from Insein to Botahtaung – the company will use 16 ships.

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.

Daw Tint Tint Lwin, CEO of Tint Tint Myanmar Company, said that they will use a card system with their own platform. But for now, they will use an Anypay card system for riders’ convenience.

Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein called the tender on 2016 May for a water taxi system in order to reduce traffic congestion and Tint Tint Myanmar Company won the tender. The company hopes to run all three routes within 2017. Hours of operation have been set from 6am to 6pm and the company hopes that around 20,000 passengers will the water bus for all three routes.

The estimated cost for project will be US$20-37 million and the company aims to run everything with its own budget and will take a project loan from KBZ Bank.

Water taxis are popular in many countries, such as the Netherlands.

Source : Myanmar Times

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