COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lanka’s state-run bus agency managed to reduce losses in 2014 but both it and private bus operators failed to provide efficient transport services to the public, the Central Bank has noted.
A bus tracking system was introduced last year to regulate operations and private operators were encouraged to form companies instead of individually running buses.
“In spite of these efforts, both Sri Lanka Transport Board and private bus operators have failed to provide an efficient and good quality transportation service to the public,” the Central Bank said in its annual report released this week.
This “has resulted in a loss of considerable amount of man hours in transit and a high fuel bill for the domestic economy.”
The report said the SLTB was able to reduce its operating losses “substantially” during the year.
SLTB’s total revenue rose 11.5 percent to 33.7 billion rupees but operating expenditure also increased by 5.5 percent to 35.5 billion rupees, resulting in an operating loss of 1.9 billion rupees in 2014 compared to a loss of 3.5 billion in 2013.
It also got a subsidy of 6.5 billion rupees for running bus services on uneconomical routes and giving subsidised season tickets.
Both SLTB and private bus operators increased services last year.
The SLTB’s total operated kilometrage rose 8 percent to 371 million km from the year before while total passenger kilometrage increased by 4.1 percent to 12.7 billion km during 2014.
But “it was not sufficient to attract commuters who use their own modes of transportation at a significantly higher cost due to the inefficiency and poor service quality of the former,” the central bank said.