By Nyein Nyein
With the Yangon Region Transport Authority (YRTA) clamping down on YBS bus lines for breaking rules and regulations, action has been taken against almost 500 buses in two weeks, said U Hla Aung, Joint Secretary of the transport authority.
Traffic Regulatory Teams are checking and taking action against YBS bus lines found breaking rules and regulations. From 1 to 15 January, the teams took action against 474 buses, while 78 letters of complaints were received from passengers, he added.
“We have taken action against 474 buses and we have received 78 complaints from passengers in two weeks. We will take action on the complaints after scrutinizing them,” said U Hla Aung.
According to the official statistics provided by the Traffic Regulatory Department of the YRTA, one bus accident was reported in the two weeks from 1 January. Two people were injured in the mishap.
The Yangon Bus Service (YBS), the main provider of public transport to Yangon’s inner-city commuters, will turn three years old this month. However, some YBS drivers are still breaking rules: they do not stop at bus stops and are collecting bus fare instead of letting passengers put the fare in the slot machines, according to the YRTA.
Therefore, the transport authority has issued smart cards to YBS drivers so that it will have personal information on every driver. The YRTA is hoping that will make it easier for the authorities to deal with complaints or take action against undisciplined bus drivers. Currently, more than 8,000 drivers have been issued smart cards.
To reduce traffic accidents and ensure compliance with traffic rules and regulations, a YBS special driver’s training course was first opened in July, 2017 by the YRTA and the Road Transport Administration Department (RTAD). As of now, 2,088 drivers have undergone such training courses. Most of them are currently employed by the YBS bus lines, according to the YRTA.
Earlier, the YBS special driver’s training courses could be attended by those holding a five-year (E) (Nga) driving license. Now, those who have a three-year driving license can apply for the courses.
The Yangon Bus Service (YBS) was launched on 16 January, 2017, during the incumbent government’s term, to improve transportation services in Yangon. At present, more than 100 bus lines are running 4,500 buses on 135 routes, along with the airport shuttle and city transit. The number of daily commuters has been estimated at 1.8 million.(Translated by Hay Mar)