Peo­ple can now ex­pe­ri­ence the con­tem­po­rary bus stop

Bhutan Times - - Home - Deki Lhadon

To make pub­lic trans­port in Thim­phu com­fort­able, ef­fi­cient and de­sir­able for com­muters, the Min­istry of In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions (MoIC) in­au­gu­rated a model bus stop in Changjiji , last Mon­day. The event also wit­nessed the launch of the In­tel­li­gent Trans­port Sys­tems (ITS) fea­si­bil­ity re­port – an ac­tion plan for im­prov­ing ur­ban trans­port in Thim­phu.

To make com­muters more com­fort­able the gov­ern­ment built a new bus stop where com­muters can seat and wait un­til the ar­rival of the city buses.

Around 48 com­muters are ex­pected to ac­com­mo­date in the new bus stop as per the cal­cu­la­tion is made by Min­istry of in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

The new bus stop has unique fea­tures of roof is de­signed like leave to sig­nify the coun­try’s en­vi­ron­ment pol­icy. The rea­son of con­struct­ing bus stop is to avoid traf­fic con­flict while drop­ping and pick­ing up the com­muters on the high­ways.

The steel pil­lar which holds the roof on one side of the pil­lar has been used to dis­play a map to show the lo­ca­tion of the bus stop and route net­work. More over to mon­i­tor and keep records of the any ac­ci­dents dur­ing travel, sur­veil­lance cam­era are also be­ing in­stalled .

Pro­vid­ing such fa­cili- ties is to en­cour­age women and chil­dren to take a ride dur­ing night time safely. So far tim­ing and fre­quency of the buses are yet to be set..

In the fu­ture the Min­istry will also in­stall free WIFI at the bus stop. The project man­ager and the head of the fi­nance and ad­min­is­tra­tion un­der the MOIC, Sonam Dendup said, “Th­ese kinds of fa­cil­i­ties will have direct and sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on chang­ing the model shift from pri­vate cars to pub­lic trans­porta­tion in fu­ture.”

The bus stop is con­structed by Con­struc­tion De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion Ltd which cost Nu. 900,000 but ar­chi­tect, Phil McMaster said that 30% of the cost went into the train­ing its work­ers. How­ever he de­signed the con­struc­tion for free.

Thim­phu city it­self has 105 bus stops and World Bank will be fund­ing 77 more up­com­ing bus stops. The costs of con­struc­tions are ex­pected to go down in fu­ture by 40 to 50% as the work­ers are now ex­pe­ri­enced how to con­struct the mod­els.

Dasho Kin­ley Dorji, the Sec­re­tary for the Min­istry of In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions said “the model bus stop will not be a fi­nal de­sign.” How­ever the Thim­phu Thromde and the Min­istry will also be open for pub­lic feed­back on the model bus stop.

“The min­istry is com­mit­ted to con­struct­ing bus stops in all the 105 re­main­ing loca- tions within the next few years,” said DN Dhungyel, Min­is­ter of MOIC.

The Min­is­ter said there are more than 76000 ve­hi­cles in the Bhutan to­day con­sid­er­ing Thim­phu it­self has more than half of num­ber. Cap­i­tal is al­ready con­gested which seems to be very com­pli­cated in fu­ture if gov­ern­ment don’t take any ac­tions.

At present Thim­phu city has 34 buses with an ad­di­tional 18 buses ex­pected un­der World Bank sup­port to come soon. The Thrompon said that ad­di­tion of 18 buses won’t be enough. He said to have at least 30 more buses.

The up­com­ing project is ex­pected to start by next mid of the year.

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