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Inter-district public transport services recommence today, excluding Colombo and Gampaha

CURFEW RUSH: Commuters scrambling to get home after curfew was declared in Sri Lanka on March 20. The public has been advised to maintain a one meter distance on public transport.

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Transport has sent a directive to recommence public transport services between districts excluding Colombo and Gampaha, starting today (May 26), with strict hygiene guidelines issued for drivers, conductors and passengers.

In a statement released today, while inter-district bus services will be in operation, any buses bearing route numbers into the Colombo and Gampaha districts will need to stop at the respective district’s borders.

Buses coming in from the south via Galle Road will have to stop at Panadura, while buses from Kandy will have to stop at Nittambuwa. Buses plying from Anuradhapura, meanwhile, have to stop at Negombo, the ministry statement said.

However, expressway buses carrying state-sector workers and essential services workers will be permitted to enter Kottawa inside the Colombo district.

The ministry noted that bus drivers and conductors have been issued strict instructions to limit the number of passengers to the number of seats, and all on board are required to wear a face mask.

The new final destination of the bus has to be clearly indicated at the front of the bus, and tickets must only be priced up to that point.

The period of validity for public transport licenses for buses have been extended to June 30 this year, the ministry added. The bus service will be in operation from 4.30am to 6.00pm.

Meanwhile, trains will also operate to Colombo for state and essential sector workers with reserved seats. The ministry noted that there is a seating capacity of 25,000 for some 125,00 daily commuters.

The Railway Department announced that 16,282 passengers took the train to Colombo this morning. (Colombo/May26/2020)

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