First Sri Lanka multimodal transport centre opens Sunday
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s first multimodal transport centre enabling travellers to easily switch between rail and bus services will be opened Sunday at the entrance to the expressway interchange in Kottawa, a suburb southeast of Colombo.
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which helped fund the centre, said the Kottawa-Makumbura Multimodal Transport Center is the first of its kind in Sri Lanka providing seamless access for passengers to connect among transport modes.
“It will enable passengers to change between bus and train services in safety and comfort, and reduce overall travel time,” the Japanese aid agency said in a statement.
“We hope this will become a good example to other planned multimodal transport centers, and contribute to improve efficiency, comfort and safety for public transport passengers,” Fusato Tanaka, Chief Representative of JICA Sri Lanka Office said.
“The Multimodal Transport Center (MTC) links the Maalapalla station – the terminating railway station of the Kelani Valley line, with short and long distance buses routed via Makumbura and Expressway buses plying on Southern Expressway and Outer Circular Expressway,” the statement said.
Located just at the entrance to the Kottawa Expressway Interchange, it will also enable private vehicle users on the expressway to park and ride on public transport to the city centre.
“Once Phase III of the Outer Circular Expressway is completed, the Kottawa MTC will provide connectivity to the Katunayake Expressway and airport as well.”
The construction and equipment for the transport center were financed partially through JICA’s Official Development Assistance loans for the Outer Circular Expressway, and remainder through Treasury fund of the government of Sri Lanka.
“The MTC has been designed prioritizing passenger comfort and convenience, with air-conditioned waiting rooms with comfortable seating, enclosed corridors to move between transport systems, LCD display system to provide on-time information on bus and train movements, and rest and recreational facilities.”
JICA said necessary facilities for safe and comfortable access to disabled persons have been incorporated in to every aspect at the MTC.
Solar panels installed on the roof generate sufficient electricity for the operation of the entire facility. Interior is designed to let maximum daylight in, such that the need for artificial lighting is reduced.
(COLOMBO, March 29, 2019-SB)