Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein said the Yangon Bus Service system will be upgraded to an international standard by the beginning of next year.
“The regional government is working on upgrading the system after a new city bus system was changed. We will have a system similar to what is being practiced internationally by January 2018,” he said at a press conference yesterday in the Yangon Region Government Office.
As a part of the upgrade, old city buses were replaced with modern vehicles, with GPS systems to be installed that will be operated by the Control Centre. Also, a prepaid card payment system will be practiced. All the buses will also be installed with CCTV.
The government is now bidding a tender to upgrade bus stops, according to the Yangon Region Bus Supervisory Authority.
“We are behind when compared to other countries. We see it as an opportunity to change the city bus system by getting the latest technology. In the card payment system, one card can be used in buses, trains, water transport and purchasing,” said U Phyo Min Thein.
The government is now assessing the YBS system for three months and will change to a public bus service in 2017.
“We all know how we will benefit from the bus service, as the demand is so high. I warn the bus owners who breach the rules, they could be terminated,” he warned.
Today, some city travellers still experience inconvenience in taking the bus, although the government introduced the new bus system on 16 January to reduce the heavy congestion in Yangon.
“The night buses are travelling half of the route because they need more gasoline. I have difficulties when the buses rarely go to my destination,’ said Ma Nu Nu Lwin, who lives in Shwe Pyi Thar Township on the outskirts of Yangon and regularly takes No. 65 bus.
There are currently 79 bus lines operated by 3,500 buses in Yangon to transport 2.5 million people daily. After changing to a new bus system, the government received 286 complaint letters in February, mostly about the No. 6 bus line, No. 36 lines and No. 65 bus line. Two-hundred thirty-four complaint letters were received, mostly about the No. 7 bus line, No. 40 bus line and No. 41 bus line.