Thim­phu Thromde gets 18 ad­di­tional city buses

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Lhakpa Tsh­er­ing

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.

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