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February 27, 2018

Improvements for Yangon Bus Service passengers in progress

Plans are being made to improve passenger convenience in the YBS bus system, while a report has been submitted to the union level for a scheme to punish those who break the rules and regulations, said Daw Nilar Kyaw Yangon Region Minister for Electricity, Industry, Transport and Communication at the Yangon Region Hluttaw meeting yesterday.
“We are doing our best to reduce the number of transfers passengers are facing and we will not increase the number of routes but try to make the existing routes work better. There are 138 Vehicle and Traffic Laws for irresponsible driving, but in reality they are not practical and if the misconduct crosses over our jurisdiction, then we may have to transfer it to the police side, and for that we have submitted to the union level,” said Daw Nilar Kyaw.
The minister made her remarks in response to a question asked by U Wai Phyo Han of Yangon Constituency in the Yangon Region Hluttaw meeting on 24 April, asking whether a transparent plan for upholding rules and regulations for public transport will be shared with the public.
To complement the YBS bus system, efforts have been made to upgrade the Yangon Circular Train, while private businesses are working on a water taxi service which may link jetties with bus stops.
In response to remarks made by Hluttaw representatives, Daw Nilar Kyaw replied, “We altered the original bus routes after listening to the public and discussing with the bus route managers. I cannot accept everyone saying YBS has failed when we are still in the early stages of implementation. The people will make the final decision on its effectiveness.”
Currently a law concerning the Yangon Region Transport Authority is being drafted and under the YRTA administration includes buses, taxis, cargo trucks, private vehicles, trains and water and air crafts, therefore efforts are being made to draft a well-rounded law for each sector.
Since its inception in January 2016, 6,000 complaints have been filed against the YBS bus system including overcharging, rude behavior towards passengers, driving past the speed limit, failure to follow the bus route completely, and physical violence.
“Depending on the severity of the complaint, licenses of the drivers and spares may be revoked, or more severe cases may result to expulsion from the YRTA and a ban from working in the transport sector,” said Daw Nilar Kyaw.
Currently 10 mobile teams are monitoring bus gates and bus stops for misconduct by bus drivers and spares. In the old Ma Hta Tha system around 5,900 cases were handled in a three-month inspection while in the YBS system 6,500 cases were handled in a three-month period, which leads us to believe that the increased number means complaints are being handled more effectively, she said.
In the old bus system there were 12 deaths and 130 injuries, while in the YBS system there have been seven deaths and 109 injuries.
The YBS system has over 3,700 vehicles running over 80 bus routes for the 2.5 million citizens of Yangon who commute daily.—Zaw Gyi (Panita)


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