More Sajha buses to ply city roads

- Anup Ojha, Kathmandu

Aug 12, 2015-

Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) signed an agreement with Sajha Yatayat Cooperative to run buses inside Kathmandu Valley on Tuesday.

Chief executive of KMC Rudra Singh Tamang and Kanak Mani Dixit, chairperson of the Cooperative, exchanged terms and conditions for running the city buses which are ‘eco-friendly and disable friendly.’

With new buses soon to ply on the roads of the Valley, passengers are set to get more travel routes, better time scheduling and less crowded vehicles. KMC will be investing Rs 100 million to purchase the city buses. 

KMC will handover the share certificate to the Cooperative once it deposits the equal amount of purchasing money invested by KMC under its share within 15 days of running the city bus.

However, KMC has not fixed the actual number of vehicles to be brought. “We will announce the actual number of buses once the purchase tender is fixed,” said Tamang. The tender is scheduled to be open within a week, he said.  Tamang estimates that over 15 vehicles can be purchased with the funds and each vehicle will have the capacity of over 70 passengers.

Speaking at the programme, Tamang said the KMC decided to work with Sajha following its success in running Sajha Yatayat in the Valley for the past two years. “Sajha has established itself as a brand so we have decided to tie up with it. This time we have gone through a direct investment model,” he said.  At present, the Cooperative has 16 buses operating in Kathmandu and Lalitpur and has been able to win the hearts of thousands of passengers.

Overall maintenance, running of the bus and insurance cost will be covered by the Cooperative. Meanwhile, the bus routes will be fixed only after a meeting of a high-level committee keeping in mind the significant of bus routes. Tax will be waived while importing these buses.

KMC officials said the buses will have a dress code for its drivers and conductors, and will introduce e-ticketing system.“We have two years experience of running Sajha buses in the city. This has given us more confidence that we can run the additional city buses efficiently. We are more service oriented than with a motive to earn profits,” said Dixit.

According to Tamang, the bus will be plying on the Valley streets from 5am to 11pm. The KMC had previously failed to viably run night buses in the Valley in the past. Two years ago, KMC had granted Bagmati Zonal Coordination of National Federation of Nepal Transport Entrepreneurs Rs 9.6 million  for the service, but eventually shut its services citing a loss.  The government estimates that about a million 

one-way person trips are made each day in Valley public vehicles.

 

Published: 12-08-2015 11:16

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