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Dhaka Tribune

Dhaka Elevated Expressway: Shuttle bus service brings relief for commuters

  • Commuters express relief 
  • A long line of passengers was seen
  • Service inaugurated with eight double-decker buses
Update : 19 Sep 2023, 12:06 AM

The launch of BRTC shuttle bus operations on the Dhaka Elevated Expressway have brought relief to the common people in the traffic-congested capital. It will now take only 12-13 minutes to travel from Farmgate to Uttara Airport, as compared to more than 2-3 hours without the expressway.

On Monday, from 11:00am, the non-stop service was inaugurated with eight double-decker buses from Farmgate to the airport. BRTC Chairman Tajul Islam was present at the time.

From 11:30 am, commuters thronged the Khejur Bagan area to try out the shuttle bus service. They expressed relief as travelling on the elevated expressway would avoid traffic congestions.

On Monday afternoon, a long line of passengers was seen going to the Khejur Bagan area. Passengers and E-ticketing workers said the number of passengers was high as it was an office holiday.

A worker in charge said that the bus service started in the morning, but there were initially very few passengers. “Now, it's increasing because of the office closing time. There will always be passengers in the morning and afternoon.”

Student Nabi Hossain came to Farmgate from Uttara using the shuttle bus on the Dhaka Elevated Expressway. He said: "I reached Farmgate from Uttara in just 15 minutes, although I was waiting for the bus for a while. Yesterday (Sunday), to attend a class at 5:30 in the afternoon, we had to leave at 2 in the afternoon with 3 hours in hand. Sometimes we still didn’t make it in time. Now, let's see how long it lasts."

Passenger Mohsin said: “The elevated expressway is a blessing for those of us who travel on this route every day.”

Another passenger, Naushin, said that it was very important for the buses to start on the elevated expressway. 

“It's great to finally be on the bus service, but the problem begins after stepping out at Farmgate. One has to sit for hours to cross the Panthapath signal of Karwan Bazar,” she added.

BRTC Chairman Tajul Islam said that the airport-bound bus would depart from Khejur Bagan on Manik Mia Avenue. The bus would take the elevated expressway via Bijoy Sarani flyover, and then it would travel non-stop to the destination.

According to BRTC sources, eight BRTC buses will transport passengers from three depots. The buses will drop passengers off at Farmgate and pick up airport-bound passengers at Bangabandhu roundabout in the Khejur Bagan area of Sangsad Bhavan adjacent to Manik Mia Avenue. Therefore, northbound passengers can board from Khejur Bagan roundabout, Khamarbari, or Bijay Sarani. In that case, the passengers sitting in the front of the bus have to cross at least two traffic signals to board the expressway. Passengers from Uttara's Jasimuddin, Airport Railway Station, and Kawla will come directly to Farmgate through the elevated expressway. Alighting will be from the elevated express via the airport ramp. Again, the BRTC bus will take the Jasim Uddin turn and enter the elevated expressway through the Kawla ramp. Then, Farmgate will come directly. Go down the Farmgate ramp and go to Khejur Bagan again.

The route from Farmgate to Uttara is 17 km, and the fare is Tk40.

According to BRTC sources, the fare for the 15 km from Khejur Bagan near Farmgate to the airport is Tk35, and for the 17kim up to Uttara Jasimuddin Avenue it is Tk 40. The fare per kilometre is Tk2.45. 

The entire fare system will be managed through e-ticketing.

These buses will run as a shuttle service, meaning buses will run from one end of the elevated expressway to the other and won't go the other way.

BRTA secretary Amin Ulla Noori said tolls of Tk160 per bus will eventually be charged for running on the elevated expressway, but the tolls will not be added to the fares right now.

The length of the Dhaka Elevated Expressway is 19.73 km. The 11.5 km section from Kawla to Tejgaon has now been opened for traffic on September 2. It will end at Kutubkhali on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway near Jatrabari via Tejgaon, Moghbazar, Kamalapur, along the railway line from Kawla near Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.

The government has set a target of opening the remaining section to the public from Tejgaon to Kutubkhali by June next year.

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