ECONOMYNEXT – Expansion of state-run Sri Lanka Transportation Board (SLTB) with 500 buses bought on credit from India will reduce passengers for private busses, the head of an industry association said.
“The already hit private sector with the fuel price increase, the fee increase will further affect with more buses coming into the competition,” Wijeratne told EconomyNext.
“Post Covid, we saw a decrease in the number of passengers we get and then after the fare hikes last year and people adopting transportation methods.
“With more buses coming in, it will further affect us.”
The initial 17,000 buses in the private sector pre pandemic, according to Wijeratne, was reduced to around 11,000 in 2022 as owners removed buses from routes due to the fuel shortages and a drop in passengers.
SLTB plans to include 500 more buses from through an India credit line in 2023 and so far 125 buses have been added.
The buses are 32-35 seaters which the government said will be deployed on rural routes. (Colombo/ Feb 6/2023)