By Sandun A. Jayasekera
Power, Energy and Transport Minister Mahinda Amaraweera yesterday instructed the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) and the National Transport Commission (NTC) to resume inter-provincial bus services from tomorrow (26) except in Colombo and Gampaha Districts.
The Sri Lanka Railways (SLR) will also restart all its services on mainlines as usual after curfew is further relaxed countrywide by the government.
Accordingly, long-distance private buses with the destination as Colombo coming from five main highways will not run up to Colombo. As such, inter-provincial buses coming from Kandy will be terminated at Nittambuwa. Buses coming from Galle will be stopped at Panadura and those coming on Low Level and High Level Roads via Avissawella are stopped
Buses travelling to Colombo from Anuradhapura, Puttalam and Kuliyapitiya via Negombo will have to terminate at Negombo and those coming on the Southern Expressway will be stopped at Kottawa. The starting time of all buses is 4.30 am and terminating time is 6.00 pm.
The bus fare should be charged strictly only up to the termination point and the start and the termination of the journey has to be clearly displayed on the front of the bus. The bus crew and all the passengers must necessarily follow health instructions like washing hands before boarding the bus and wear a face mask.
Buses are permitted only to take passengers to seating capacity. The SLTB will run buses around the country in conjunction with private buses. The route permit of private buses will be extended up to June 30 by the NTC.
The Transport Ministry will further relax regulations on buses and trains on the advice of the health and security authorities when the country returns to normalcy gradually, Minister Amaraweera said.