Apr 09, Colombo: The Transport Ministry today (Apr 09) announced that it has launched a special transportation plan for the benefit of the people who leave the capital Colombo heading home for the upcoming Sinhala and Tamil New Year.
Accordingly, arrangements have been made to operate 65 additional train services, 1500 buses belonging to the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) and 600 private buses from tomorrow to facilitate transportation until April 22, Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Arjuna Ranatunga said at a media briefing today.
"There will be additional trains for the New Year from the 10th of this month. It will be operated for 12 days until the 22nd. During the 12 days, 65 additional trains will be in operation," he said.
The additional train service will primarily operate from Colombo Fort to Badulla, Kalutara, Galle, Matara, Jaffna, and Kurunegala. The train which generally operates from Colombo to Vavuniya will also run up to Jaffna, Mr. Ranatunga said.
In addition, the city-level train service has also been increased under this program.
Similarly, the Sri Lanka Transport Board has deployed 1,500 additional buses for New Year service. While 1350 buses would operate according to a fixed time schedule, the Transport Minister said that a maximum amount of buses would be deployed for transportation during the next 12 days.
In addition, the number of private buses which operate from the Bastian Mawatha Bus Station has been increased upto 2800 from 2200 with the intervention of the National Transport Commission.
However, plans have been prepared to deploy more buses for daily travel if the need arises, he said.
The Minister said a frequent complaint they receive from public when delivering Avurudu services is that charging extra for travel and therefore, a special program has been prepared to prevent raising ticket prices
"Under this, we have instructed to issue tickets before the bus leaves. Similarly, steps have been taken to deploy mobile inspection teams and to display ticket prices inside the bus," he said.
Minister Ranatunga, urged the general public to inform the 1955 hotline if any issue arises pertaining to transportation.