Yangon’s public buses rack up K4B in losses
The Yangon Bus Public Company and Yangon Urban Public Transportation Public Company, have recorded losses totalling K4 billion in the past three years.
TWO Yangon public companies, the Yangon Bus Public Company (YBPC) and Yangon Urban Public Transportation Public Company (YUPT), have recorded losses totaling K4 billion in the past three years, according to a report prepared by the Yangon Region Office of the Auditor General.
The 2016-17 report was submitted to the Yangon Hluttaw by Auditor General Daw Khin Than on September 14.
The report showed that the Yangon government had invested K35 billion each in YBPC and YUPT, which currently operate under public-private partnerships (PPP). According to the report, the government’s investments in the two companies exceed private investments.
The companies had purchased a total of 1,000 new buses, 500 each, to operate under the Yangon Bus Service (YBS) launched in January last year.
So far though, YBPC and YUPT have yet to break even on the capital expenditure taken for the new YBS buses. According to the Auditor General’s report, YBPC has been lossmaking since 2015-16, while YUPT fell into the red in 2017-18, dredging up K603 million in losses.
Currently, there are 25 bus companies operating over 6,000 buses and 119 daily bus lines daily under the YBS, which is overseen by the Yangon Region Transport Authority (YRTA). The YRTA replaced the Yangon Motor Vehicles Supervisory Committee (Ma Hta Tha) last year.
Passengers pay a fixed price of K200 each time they ride the bus. To turn a profit though, the government should consider fixing bus fares by distance, said Daw Khin Than. This is becoming more important as operational costs have been on the rise.
U Tayoute Lay, managing director from Power Eleven Public Company, one of the bus companies operating under the YBS, said the government should lease out necessary infrastructure such as bus stations and
‘To turn a profit, the govt should consider fixing bus fares based on distance.’
Daw Khin Than Auditor General
provide paid parking spaces for the buses for additional revenue.
The government can also invest in providing repairs and maintenance services and operate petrol stations, he said.
YBS runs through the busy road in downtown area in Yangon, Myanmar on Jan 1, 2017.