KATHMANDU, Sept 12: The Department of Transport Management (DoTM) and representatives of small public transport operators have agreed to operate 17 new buses along the route from Gongabu Bus Park in Kathmandu to Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA).
They agreed to operate the buses, replacing existing 35 tempos and 26 microbuses along the 12.1 kilometer route, as a part of broader plan to promote mass transport in the capital.
The accord signed by representatives from the department, the public transport operators, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Town Development Fund (TDF), will be implemented as per the government’s policy of developing mass transport systems in the major towns and cities.
Department official informed that transport entrepreneurs now operating the tempos and microbuses along the Gongobu Buspark-Lainchour-Maitidevi-Sinamangal-TIA route will replace these vehicles with big buses under a government plan that also includes assistance to the bus operators.
“The two committees of tempo and micro-bus operators have agreed that they are ready to operate big buses as per our plan and vision to develop mass transport in Kathmandu,” Director General of the Department of Transport Management Chandra Man Shrestha told Republica.
He also informed that the final agreement will be signed only after the committee members register a company, as required by government policy, to run the buses.
“We will have an official agreement within a week,” he said. “They can then receive government assistance under financial support from the ADB.”
He said the company owners will be able to get 80 percent financial support as a loan and an additional 15 percent will come as a grant under the Town Development Fund. Another five percent should be invested by the entrepreneurs themselves. “The 15 percent assistance is for removing their small vehicles from the road,” Shrestha added.
“ADB will provide a grant assistance of US$ 2 million to the government and this will be handed over to TDF,” said Shrestha. “TDF is the focal agency for distributing the government’s assistance to the mass transport operator.”
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, while addressing parliamentlast week, announced the promotion of large buses under a plan to replace small vehicles such as tempos and microbuses in the major towns.