Thimphu Thromde gets 18 additional city buses
The city bus service in Thimphu received 18 new buses on 23 November.
The new Eicher buses have a carrying capacity of 50 passengers each with 29 seats that includes have new feature such as wheelchair ramps for differentlyabled passengers, a television, safety bars and stop bells and a higher ground clearance. It is also fitted with three CCTV cameras to monitor passengers.
There are 13 major city bus routes in Thimphu today. Transport director Sonam Dendup said that once the revamping work is completed, Thimphu is expecting around 15 major routes.
A total of about 170 city bus stops are located in the various places in Thimphu. However, only 70 bus stops could accommodate a bus shade.
The addition of new buses is expected to bring down travel time from 15 minutes to 10 minutes during peak hours for places like Dechencholing, Babesa and Lungtenphu. Sonam Dendup said that that the service is expected to be improved and enhanced specially during the peak hours.
The peak hours are from 7 am to 9:30 am and 4 pm to 6:30 pm.
The aim is to minimize the buses coming to the terminal and operates more from point to point, reducing the congestion. Sonam Dendup said that the addition of the new buses will also help reduce the emission and promote safety for passengers.
The minister of Information and Communications, Lyonpo DN Dhungyel, inaugurated the new buses. In his inauguration statement, he said that people should take interest in using public transport and making optional use of buses to help the government’s initiative. That, he added, would help curb the increasing import of vehicles and air pollution.
As part of inaugural ceremony, the minister and local residents travelled around Thimphu town in the new bus.
With assistance from Korea, city bus services expects to install global positioning system (GPS) in the buses to help study the movement, timing and regularity of the bus service.
The new buses have designated seats for the elderly, the disabled, pregnant women, mothers and monks. Sonam Dendup said the designated seat rule would be strictly monitored once in the buses hit the road.
The number of city buses in Thimphu has been increased from 30 to 48 with the additional 18 buses imported at the cost of Nu. 67million.
Today, there are more than 83,000 vehicles registered with Road Safety and Transport Authority in the country with 43,043 of them registered in Thimphu.