COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lanka’s transport authorities have proposed having bus priority lanes and introducing a bus rapid transit system as part of efforts to ease worsening traffic jams in the capital Colombo, officials said.
“We need to urgently improve our public transport system if we’re to reduce traffic jams,” Transport Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara said.
One proposal was to have a BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) system on a section of the Galle Road, the main coastal road linking Colombo with the south.
“We’re considering have a lane dedicated for buses – on the centre lane with other traffic on either side,” Bandara told a news conference.
Transport Ministry Secretary Lalithasiri Gunaruwan said such dedicated bus lanes were found in many world cities around the world.
“We will have buses at fixed intervals, say every minute. We estimate such a system will enable travel from Panadura (a southern suburb) to Colombo in 40 minutes.”
Improving the public transport system and making it more efficient and comfortable should lead to a shift from private cars to buses and ease congestion, he said.
“Then people will realise it is better than being stuck in traffic jams in cars. It is not only affordable fares that are important. Comfort is also important and travel times.”
Gunruwan said a bus priority lane on certain road was another proposal under consideration and presented to the cabinet of ministers for approval.