(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – In a bid to prevent transport services from collapsing, the Government will temporarily revise bus fares, if needed, based on a new COVID-19 Transport Policy after lifting the curfew, State Minister of Transport Dilum Amunugama claimed.
Steps will be taken to commence bus services based on the COVID-19risk andthe policy will consist of measures to ensure the safety of passengers among others.
Sri Lanka Transport Board Chairman, Kingsley Ranawaka said long distance buses also will start operating from today, without stopping in isolated areas.
The State Minister said private bus owners despite incurring massive losses have operated buses during the COVID-19 crisis period and accordingly based on the new policy bus fares will be revised. But added that if health authorities will allow operators to function without any restrictions, then bus fares will not be revised.
“Despite the increase in fares to revive the collapsed bus industry, the amended bus fares would be revoked as soon as the Government announces that risk had been eliminated. Sri Lanka Transport Board buses will function according to the timetable and long-distance buses will also operate if restrictions are lifted,” he noted.
Amunugama says three methods of COVID-19 transportation have been introduced so far.
“Although not yet launched, we have introduced three methods of transport to the Army Commander and the health sector. It deals with how to safely transport passengers under COVID-19 conditions. We will not increase bus fares if the passengers are both seated and standing as per the normal mode of operation. The other method is to transport passengers only up to the available number of seats. The third method is to allocating only one passenger per seat if the health department informs us that there is a threat in a quarantine area. We will have to make some fee revisions for the last these two methods,” he noted.