Monday, July 24, 2017

After deadly crash, No. 55 bus line out, No. 90 in

After a deadly crash on July 7, the YBS No. 55 bus line has changed its number to 90, said U Kyi Sein, director of the Taikkyi Thar PPP company.

On July 7, nine passengers and a bus driver were killed when a No. 55 bus crossed the centre line and ran head-on into a No. 37 bus on Pyay Road near the Yay Sin bus stop in Mingaladon township. The crash was blamed on an equipment failure in the No. 55 bus. Among the 10 people killed were a Government Technological College (GTC) student and the driver of the 55 bus. The bus that caused the crash was operated by private owners and the 37 bus was operated by Yangon Bus Public Company.

“We started running about 30 buses on the new No. 90 line on July 10. Under YBS, the Taikkyi Thar PPP company and private bus owners run about 100 buses a day from Taikkyi township to Maw Tin. We can run from Taikkyi to Htauk Kyant township but we can’t enter downtown Yangon,” said U Kyi Sein.

On July 8, the Yangon Region Transport Authority met and decided to cancel the 55 bus line, but it is still not known if the YRTA will allow private owners on the No. 90 line. Authority officials were to discuss the matter at a meeting Tuesday night.

The accident was the worst since the YBS started operating nearly six months ago. The Yangon Region Buses Control Committee was replaced by the YBS in January. But passengers still face difficulties when riding the bus.

At first, the government hoped to form YBS with public-private partnership (PPP) companies, but some owners were not to ready to adopt the arrangement and the government continued to allow individual owners to participate.

Passengers complain that some drivers and conductors are undisciplined and mistreat customers. They complain of speeding and racing with other buses, and fighting with passengers. The response of the YRTA and regional government to complaints about the bus workers has been criticised as weak.

‘’The accident should serve as a warning to cease careless driving,” U Kyi Sein said.

The YRTA allowed No. 37 bus line to run from Sule to the GTC in Hmawbi, and the Yangon Bus Public Company (YBPC) will add about 30 buses on this line.

“At its July 8 meeting, the YRTA said it will approve No. 90 bus line after checking with the Road Transport Administration Department (RTAD). The YBPC plans to add more buses to the 37 line and extend the route to Hmawbi GTC,” said 21 bus owner Ko Ta Yoke Lay.

During a discussion of the YBS in Yangon Regional Parliament in April, some MPs criticised chief minister U Phyo Min Thein for starting YBS without adequate planning.