Plans have been made to introduce a single ticket system where passengers could travel to Matara from Colombo via both by train and bus through the Kottawa-Makumbura Multi-Modal Transport Hub, Railways General Manager Dilantha Fernando said.
Once the system is in place, he said a passenger could purchase a ticket from the Fort Railway Station in Colombo to go to Makumbura Railway Station and then to Matara on the Southern Expressway via bus utilising the same ticket.
As an initial step, an air-conditioned train-Hitachi S5-steered to Makumbura from Fort recently carrying a team of railways officials.
Mr Fernando said the single ticket system concept which is common in developed countries would be implemented based on the Kottawa-Makumbura Multi-Modal Transport Hub in the near future.
“The special transport service will be implemented without causing any obstacle to the normal train service. We are in the process of drafting a new timetable to make this possible,” Mr. Fernando said.
When contacted, Project Director at the Megapolis and Western Development Ministry, Nalaka Dissanayake said the single ticket system would be a novel experience to Sri Lankans.
He said discussions have been held with the National Transport Commission (NTC) and the Railways Department over the project.
“The project will be implemented as soon as the updated railway timetable was finalised,” he said.
According to the plan, ministry project officials would act as the intermediate officials of the railway and bus services.
These officials should pay a railway charge of Rs.10,000 daily to the Railways Department.
“The price of the single ticket will be notified when the project is finalised. A mechanism will be made to divide the daily income among the Railway Department and the buses,” Mr Dissanayake said. (Rekha Tharangani Fonseka)