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Dhaka Tribune

Seamless Eid travels: Padma Bridge brings joy to Dhaka-bound commuters

However, some passengers have reported being charged additional bus fares during the Eid period

Update : 02 Jul 2023, 09:58 PM

The completion of the Padma Bridge has sparked a shift in travel patterns for residents in southern Bangladesh after the conclusion of Eid-ul-Azha festivities. Formerly reliant on launches, people are now embracing road travel as they return to Dhaka for work, marking a significant transformation facilitated by the bridge's presence.

However, some passengers have reported being charged additional bus fare during the Eid period.

On the fourth day of Eid-ul-Azha, bus stations in various upazilas of Barisal, such as Nathullabad and Rupatali, were bustling with passengers heading towards Dhaka.

Talking to passengers waiting for transport, it was evident that most of them are heading to Dhaka for work after the Eid holidays, choosing the road route due to the time and money saved by the construction of the Padma Bridge.

Abdur Rahman, a passenger waiting at the Nathullabad bus stand in the city, expressed his excitement about the benefits of the Padma Bridge, allowing him to reach Dhaka in just three to four hours. As a result, he is leaving Barisal at 6.30am in the morning.

He also mentioned that with everything going well, he expects to reach Dhaka in time for breakfast and be at the office on Sunday.

Another passenger, Hossain Ali Sardar, emphasized that the advantages of the Padma Bridge have eliminated the need for passengers to wait for hours at ferry stations as they did in the past. This progress enables individuals to depart from Barishal for Dhaka in the early morning and reach their workplaces on time.

Dhaka Tribune

It has been observed that, in the last year, transportation companies have significantly increased the number of vehicles in the five districts of the southern Barishal division to take advantage of the Padma Bridge. This development has made it easier and more convenient for residents of these districts to commute between their homes and workplaces via the Barisal-Dhaka-Barisal highway.

The central bus terminal in Barisal city witnessed a large influx of people heading to Dhaka, resulting in every bus being filled to capacity since the morning and becoming even more crowded on Sunday morning.

According to road transport owners and terminal officials, prior to the opening of the Padma Bridge, approximately 150 passenger buses operated on the Dhaka-Barisal road. However, now there are thousands of buses, including luxury buses from 20 to 25 companies.

While some passengers have complained about certain transports charging extra fares, they are still pleased with the ability to reach their destinations safely and in a significantly shorter time.

Miraj Hossain, a resident of Lutfar Rahman Road, shared his experience, stating that before the Padma Bridge was inaugurated, he used to rely on launches for transportation. However, even with cabins, one had to arrive several hours before the scheduled departure time to secure a spot. Now, thanks to the Padma Bridge, the previously seven to eight-hour journey via the river route can be completed in just three to three and a half hours, without any kind of inconvenience or hardship.

To address the issue of traffic congestion, there is a pressing demand to expand the narrow highway from Bhanga to Barisal-Kuakata into a four-lane road.

Barisal Divisional Commissioner Amin ul Ahsan said that plans are underway to construct another expressway similar to the Bangabandhu Expressway, connecting Bhanga to Barisal and extending to Kuakata. This development aims to alleviate the existing challenges faced by the road transport sector.

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