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Sri Lanka to end ‘semi-luxury’ bus fleecing scam

RE-DEPLOYMENT: Transport Minister Mahinda Amaraweera has suggested that ‘semi-luxury’ buses with dustry drapes be used for office transport on expressways.

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will end a so-called ‘semi-luxury’ bus service which is fleecing passengers without giving extra facilities to passengers, Minister of Energy and Transport Mahinda Amaraweera has said.

Minister Amaraweera had discussion with several parties over the matter, a statement from the Transport Ministry said.

A survey among 10,000 bus passengers conducted by National Transport Commission, a regulatory body has found that there was a strong opinion that the service should be abolished.

The semi-luxury buses charge higher fares than standard service but have no air-conditioning but have curtains on windows.

The windows are dirty and the curtains are clogged with dust, which makes some passengers get headaches.

Transport Ministry Secretary Gamini Seneviratne has said that the service can be abolished in a month.

Analysts have pointed out that state regulation has promoted corruption, prevented consolidation or innovation is buses, triggering a competitive taxi service and other solutions including office transport buses.

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Minister Amaraweera had asked to consider whether the buses could be used for long distance office transport on expressways. (Colombo/Dec21/2019)