Sunday, March 8, 2009

"Park and Ride" introduced in Colombo

A new traffic arrangement is to be implemented to help reduce the number of vehicles entering Colombo city. Starting next week the Ministry of Transport has decided to operate a “Park and ride system” starting from Kattubedda.

Professor Amal Kumarage, Chairman of the National Transport Commission stated that the service will be provided from 16 March which is specifically designed to reduce the traffic congestion around the city of Colombo.

This will allow the people to park their vehicles at the car park in Katubedda and take a luxury bus to Colombo. The buses will travel from Kattubedda to Colpetty Junction, Dharmapala Mawatha and then proceed to Piththala junction. The buses will then cross Nawam Mawatha at Slave Island and go past Air Force HQ to York Street. The bus service will terminate near the Clock tower in Pettah. On the return ride, the bus will take the Duplication Road route upto Bambalapitiya.

Professor Amal Kumarage says, “it is not a mere car park where people can drive in and park their cars and go somewhere else. A traveler who wishes to obtain the services must first contact the service provider ECD Global Limited and should reserve a seat at the bus by stating a desired time of travel.”

Professor Amal Kumarage also added that the government does not wish to ‘gain any benefit from the service,’ but will levy a permit charge from the operator. “The government’s sole intention in initiating the process is to bring down the cost of traffic congestion,” he added.

The buses are said to be of high standard, which are mostly used for transporting tourists. They will also have an air condition system and comfortable seating. Upto twenty passengers can travel in one bus, and the professor stated that the passengers will not exceed the seating limit.

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