Plans for public transport PPPs get moving with strong interest
SOME 21 companies have signaled interest in entering into a publicprivate partnership (PPP), says the Yangon Transport Authority Group, as the city eyes upgrades to its decrepit public bus transport networks.
Yangon Transport Authority Group secretary U Maung Aung said applications closed on August 31, although not all who submitted proposals would be up for consideration.
“In total, 21 companies applied [for] the proposal. But we will analyse again because we found out some companies do not have enough money to run the operation,” said U Maung Aung.
He said that smaller companies could be grouped together with larger outfits in order to meet the ambitious terms set out for the tender.
‘’We need much more money – billions worth – but some companies can’t [come up with] that amount. So we will combine these small companies with big companies. Generally, PPPs can form if they have US$500 million, but we need more because our operation is big. We hope to run … about 200 buses for one bus line. So, the companies must be stout in money,” he said.
YTA is set to meet with applicant companies and discuss their proposals, U Maung Aung said.
Changes to the public transportation system will mean shuttle bus lines will service the six townships of downtown from key intersections.
Companies charged with running the buses will have to fall in line, U Maung Aung explained.
‘’When the buses are running, companies must [conduct business] according to our [rules]. If they do not follow them, we will issue a warning,” said U Maung Aung.
The Yangon Region government says it hopes to have new bus lines operating by November – whether or not the PPP bids are up to scratch.
“If private owners want to be included in PPP, we have planned to allow this with buses instead of buying shares or investing money,” U Maung Aung said. “We already allowed [companies] to sell old buses to other states and regions, and to buy new buses with a hire-purchase system in connection with banks.”
“If the owners did not want to sell their current buses, they will have the chance to run on intersections which will connect to main roads,” he said. ‘’We will undertake bus reform no matter what.”