President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday held a meeting with private bus owners to discuss the problems they have faced. The President stressed the need to limit the number of passengers to the number of seats in buses due to the COVID-19 situation. To make it practical it was agreed at the meeting to revise the office time of government and private institutions. Passenger Transport Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera and Private Bus Owners’ Association Chairman Gamunu Wijeratne also participated. Picture courtesy President’s Media Division
Passenger Transport Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said yesterday that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has agreed to make it compulsory for transporting passengers according to the number of seats available in buses.
Minister Amaraweera said they had taken a decision to limit the number of passengers to the number of seats available in buses and trains considering the safety and the comfort of passengers.
Now, it has been made compulsory following the decision taken during the discussion held between President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the relevant stakeholders in the transport sector, held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday.
During the discussion, it has been decided to operate all public transport services normally from yesterday, according to the instructions given by the Health Sector.
The Minister said it has been decided to implement both SLTB and private buses according to a combined time table to fulfill the commuter demand.
In order to provide a quality bus service, a special loan scheme will be implemented by the State banks at a concessionary rate to purchase low floor buses.
Meanwhile, President Rajapaksa has also agreed to provide a concessionary loan of Rs.300,000 to private bus owners whose buses have been subjected to mechanical hazards as a result of being out of service for a long time due to the COVID 19. It was also decided to provide payment deferrals for leasing installments of buses.