Bus transportation in the country is to undergo significant changes with the launching of online bus ticket booking facility and with the introduction of high-bred and electric buses, Deputy Minister of Transport and Aviation Asoka Abeysinghe said today.
Deputy Minister Abeysinghe said commuters who travel long distances will now have the opportunity of booking bus tickets online through the website www.sltbexpress.lk website and through an app.
He also said the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) intends importing 500 new buses for $ 20 million under the Indian line of credit. Four hundred 57 seat buses and hundred 35 seat buses will be imported. In addition 1000 low floor buses from Hungary. “Government is also planning to import 750 high-bred buses and 250 electric buses shortly. High-bred and electric buses will ply by Sinhala New Year 2019.
He also said SLTB made Rs 1.6 billion profit last year for the first time. At the same time, the Minister said SLTB has to bear an additional monthly cost of Rs. 102 million as a result of recent fuel hike. However, he said it is not a loss. He then said there has been no discussion on the bus fare hike yet.
“We have not discussed on a bus fare hike yet. Fuel prices have still not come to the level they were in 2014. Petrol was Rs 157 and diesel Rs 130 a litre at that time. A litre of petrol is Rs 147 currently, the Deputy Minister said
He also said the people will be educated on the proposed fuel price formula shortly. Accepting that fuel prices are adjusted daily in some countries the Deputy Minister said Sri Lanka is not used to such a scenario yet. (Yohan Perera)