Public transport vehicles will no longer be able to operate as they did before because they will have to follow health protocols set by the government
The government’s plan to introduce a new public transportation system across the country to facilitate social distancing in public transport vehicles may lead to a rise in fares.
Once the general holidays come to an end, public transport vehicles will no longer be able to operate as they did before because they will have to follow protocols, set by the government, intended to contain the spread of coronavirus.
If the protocols force them to carry fewer passengers, the fares will likely increase to compensate for that, sources of concerned ministries hinted to Dhaka Tribune.
“Public transport fares may increase slightly,” said one source.
Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) and Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) are taking initiatives to facilitate the implementation of the new system.
Road, Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said at a briefing on Thursday that public transport owners and labour leaders will discuss the matter with BRTA on Friday.
“To protect the drivers and passengers from Covid-19, every public transport should maintain the health protocol,” Quader said.
State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury also said on Thursday morning that BIWTA will discuss the matter with the owners and labourers of waterway vehicles to find a solution.
“If a launch, with capacity of 500 passengers, is only able to carry 200 passengers at a time to maintain social distancing protocols, the fares will have to be adjusted too so that the owners of the launch can afford to keep it running with that limited capacity,” Khalid commented.
He also said that thermal scanners have been installed in every river port of the country since the start of the outbreak to prevent further spread of the virus. In addition, medical centres have been setup at all river ports to secure the health of workers and passengers.
“Our aim is to resume a safe, hazard free, and cost-effective public transportation system in the waterway,” he added.