Ongoing COVID-19 crisis causes 90% decrease in YBS travelling people

15 April 2020

A number of travelling people taking YBS buses decreased by a 90% due to the severe effect of ongoing COVID-19 crisis. YBS bus lines have seen a decrease in their daily income as they do not earn even to cover the operation cost of CNG and drivers. Some private companies have left their owned YBS buses stopped. The public company is providing bus run at a loss, said U Thet Tin Win (a) Ko Ta Yoke Lay, member of board of directors of Power Eleven Public Co., Ltd. 

Speaking to MI Radio about the reason why YBS bus lines are not making any profits and they are providing transport service at a loss, U Thet Tin Win (a) Ko Ta Yoke Lay, member of board of directors of Power Eleven Public Co., Ltd, said “About 90% of travelling people are not going currently. For that reason there has been a decline in our income. We haven’t so far earned even to cover operation cost of CNG gas and drivers despite the runs all day. According to our work of nature, it means direct cost. We don’t get even operational cost including CNG gas and drivers. At such a time, most of the bus lines come to a stop. The buses running in Yangon daily are more than 5000, and more than 2500 of them are from the companies. The private bus lines stopped running at the end of March. For the time being, only the buses that belong to the public company are running at a loss. The government should provide the commuters and the government servants. How to provide them is that the government should provide CNG gas to the buses free of charge.”

YBS bus lines should be given exemption from the funds collected by Yangon Region Transport Authority (YRTA) at a time when they face income losses. On the other hand, the bank loan repayment period of YBS companies should be suspended.  It is not easy for YBS bus lines to withstand the long-term loss, according to YBS bus line companies. 

YBS bus lines providing transport service at a loss are intended travelling people in Yangon. As long as the travelling people exist, we have already planned to go on providing transport service, said U Thet Tin Win, Member of Board of Directors of Power Eleven Public Co., Ltd. U Thet Tin Win continued to say that if we stop our transport operation due to the impact of ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the company will face a loss, and drivers and the staffs of bus lines will lose jobs. Moreover the travelling people will have to see a difficult transport. Turning a blind eye to these inconveniences, the companies are going on providing transport service at a loss.  We have well managed operation sector for ensuring that all YBS bus line keeps on running. Also during Thingyan holidays we have planned to have all YBS bus lines remain open, said the officials of the bus line companies. 

YBS bus lines are experiencing some losses at the moment, but some have stopped providing transport service, thereby terminating the jobs of most of the drivers and the staffs of bus lines.  

Ko Kyaw Myo Aung, who is the driver of YBS 39, speaking to MI Radio how good their company is for the drivers, he said “In such a time of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the number of passengers becomes fewer. Business is not going well. The people are staying at home for health reasons and they don’t go out if they have no important matter. We are also the same matter. Our company is good for its drivers. We are driving our bus to meet the required runs for a day. About 40 buses of ours are running on a regular basis.” 

There are a total of 102 YBS bus lines, 124 traffic routes and more than 4300 buses in Yangon transport. Yangon has a travelling people of 1.9 million.

Speaking to MI Radio about the number of travelling people is on the sharp decrease and he is going to the downtown to buy the medicines, U Thein Naing, the commuter from Htaukkyant, said “Travel is not difficult and it is regular, but the number of commuters has become fewer. We have to wait for the bus just for a while. I am going out today to buy some medicines. We mostly stay at home and wash hands frequently. We use hand gel when I go out. This is all.”

At the present time, some commuters and departmental staffs have to go their destination amid fears over the COVID-19 as they have essential jobs. Some are also going out to seek basic needs. For that reason the YBS public company is providing transport service at a loss.

Pyay Thein and Zeyar Maw