Sri Lanka needs cheaper, faster solutions to traffic jams: central bank

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka should explore cheaper and faster options to tackling traffic jams leading to lost productivity, like a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system while implementing a light rail transit (LRT) system, the central bank said.

"Expeditious implementation of effective and affordable traffic management solutions is vital to curb numerous negative externalities arising from traffic congestion," the bank said in its 2017 annual report.

Major improvements to both public and private bus transport services are essential to overcome traffic congestion in urban areas and reduce productivity losses in the overall economy due to road traffic, it said.

"While implementing the light rail transit (LRT) system, other solutions targeted directly at root causes of traffic congestion, and relatively faster and cheaper to implement must be explored by the government," the central bank said.

These include "restructuring the bus network in the capital of Colombo into a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) System as mooted by industry experts."

The central bank also pushed for rigorous educational campaigns to discourage the culture of driving in which violations of road rules are the accepted norm and installing a network of CCTV cameras for monitoring and enforcement without discrimination.

It also suggested incorporating modules on road discipline at primary and secondary school levels and regulating the three wheeler taxi industry.

The central bank noted that the increase in traffic, mostly by low occupancy vehicles like cars, has been rapid, and resulted in heavy traffic congestion, wasting time and financial resources of the country, while increasing pollution levels.

Buses are slow, congested, uncomfortable and unpredictable, while three wheelers and taxis are relatively expensive, prone to accidents and unavailable at peak times. (COLOMBO, May 04, 2018)





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