The Japanese government has teamed up with Sri Lankan authorities to establish a BRT (Bus Rapid Transport) service and ease congestion in Colombo.
Authorities are currently working with the Japanese government which has agreed to assist in the establishment of a mass transport system and have even offered funding for the project, Moratuwa University Engineering Faculty Transport and Logistics Management Department Prof. Amal Kumarage said during a presentation on national transport at the LBO-LBR CEO Forum held on Wednesday in Colombo. BRT is a term applied to a variety of public transport systems using buses to provide faster, more efficient service than an ordinary bus line.
Prof. Kumarage observed that BRT services operate without any subsidies and is suitable for countries like Sri Lanka as it was a more cost-effective mode of transportation compared to the metro systems developed in other developed countries.
He noted that the BRT would enable the local transport service to be improved and simultaneously ease costs, adding that there is a possibility for the private sector to also get involved in these services.
The physical road capacity in Sri Lanka currently has to increase vis a vis the economic capacity of the country, Prof. Kumarage explained.
He noted that though there were large investments diverted for road construction and rehabilitation the number of buses plying on the roads were in excess and that the quality was similar to the 1950s and has not improved due to the a lack of an effective regulation for the local transport service.
It was observed that by 2030 there would be an “explosion in the private transport space” with fewer buses due to less number of passengers commuting on this service.
The number of vehicles owned by individuals had increased mostly in provinces outside Colombo, Prof. Kumarage said adding that the least number of vehicles were owned by those residing in the Western Province.
Another interesting fact observed was the average road speeds that was at 25km/h in 2011 would slow down to 19km/h in 2030, he explained citing that the future was not good in terms of private car ownership as people would be forced to travel on the road at lower speeds.