High-tech, low-emission buses replace micros

  • improving mass transport
The total cost of the project is $22.37 million, with the Nepal government contributing $7.9 million

Aug 14, 2018-Press Release via Asian Development Bank

A fleet of 17 high-tech, low-emission buses have been put on the streets of Kathmandu in a bid to reduce congestion and pollution as part of a project funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The new 25-seater buses will be used on a pilot route called S5—from Gongabu to Sinamangal—replacing 26 ageing microbuses and 35 tempos that ply the route.

The initiative is part of the ADB Kathmandu Sustainable Urban Transport Project, which is promoting the use of low-emission vehicles and helping improve mass transport in the Kathmandu Valley. Population growth, rapid urbanisation and the increasing number of vehicles in the Valley have led to traffic congestion, road accidents, environmental degradation and poor public transport operation and services in recent years. “ADB is pleased to work closely with the Department of Transport Management on this project to provide the city with a more efficient urban transport system,” said ADB Country Director for Nepal Mukhtor Khamudkhanov.

“What is really commendable is that the effort to improve the urban transport system is being led by a public-private partnership, and this partnership will be the key to the system’s sustainability in the long run.”

The owners of the microbuses and tempos came together to form a private limited company that now runs the bus service. The capital for this initiative was provided by the government-managed Town Development Fund financed by the ADB, grants from the Global Environment Facility and equity financing from the company itself.

“The incentive for the owners who had to shut down the ageing microbus and tempo service in the designated routes and operate the newer and cleaner buses is that they are now shareholders of the new company and will get regular dividends,” said Project Director Ananta Acharya. “So, it’s a win-win for transport operators, passengers, and most importantly, for the environment.”

The new buses use Euro-4 emission standard engines that reduce the levels of harmful exhaust emissions such as carbon monoxide. They also use a Global Positioning System (GPS) enabling passengers to track the buses in real time. Passengers can also use a card to pay their fare, while the buses themselves are disabled-friendly.

The project is helping to improve traffic management in the city centre and making it more walkable through pedestrianisation of heritage routes and supporting the Department of Transport Management to build up knowledge and skills in urban transport management.

The total cost of the project is $22.37 million, with the Nepal government contributing $7.9 million. The total cost of the implementation of the bus service on the pilot route, including e-ticketing, GPS tracking and other communication equipment, is $900,000.

We have updated the story to reflect that this is a news release, not a Post Report as it was originally published in the byline.

Published: 14-08-2018 08:41

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