14 January 2021
Some of the Dala-based bus lines have resumed operations in order to deal with a gradual increase in the number of passengers during the early weeks of 2021 for the sake of their convenience. Some of bus lines in Dala have already resumed transport service to and from Twantay, Kawhmu and Kongyangon in Yangon Region.
The later period of the year 2020 had brought a decrease in number of passengers due to the second wave of Covid-19, leading to a halt in the operation of bus lines. However, from the end of last year to the beginning of this year, the number of passengers rose back so that some bus lines have resumed runs to cope with the increasing number of passengers.
U Nyunt Htay, In-charge of Kawhmu-Dala Bus Line in Dala Township, said, “At present, the commute made by passengers is increasing compared to that of the previous period. However, we reduce the number of passengers less than its capacity, and the price range gets a little high. We have to avoid crowds of passengers on the bus for ensuring safe and convenient commute for the passengers. The bus line based in Dala runs to some main villages of Kawhmu. The number of passengers is now gradually increasing after a decline during the first wave and the beginning of the second wave. From the end of 2020, the number is rising back till now.”
However, the bus lines are allowed to commute only within Yangon Region and the highway buses running to other region and states have not resumed yet due to the travel restrictions.
U Hla Kyi, Driver of Twantay-Dala Mini Bus Line, said “Only when the highway bus lines resume operation, we can receive more customers. Right now, we are carrying only the residents who are going outside for necessary purpose. Previously, our bus carried a crowd of passengers for a run, but now we reduce the number of passengers for social distancing. The capacity of our bus is 8 persons but now we carry 4 to 6 persons. Before the Covid-19, we had 4 to 6 runs in a day earning about 30,000 kyats. The income drop to one-third earning of 10,000 kyats in a day now.”
People going outside are alerted to act in accord with the rules and regulations laid down by the Ministry of Health and Sports and YRTA also gave instructions for the bus lines.
U Myint Soe, a Driver from Kawhmu-Dala Mini Bus Line, said, “During the early period of our bus resumption, we carried passengers free of charge, and now we ask 1,000 kyats per person. Only 10 persons are carried for a run to practice social distancing. We adjust the bus fare for the convenience of the passengers. Although half of the normal passengers are taking bus now, it is quite okay for us.”
Although Dala-based bus lines have resumed operation to townships within Yangon Region, the highway bus lines running to Ayeyarwady Region have not reoperated yet. According to the YRTA, the highway bus lines based in Yangon Region to other Regions and States have not resumed yet but around 100 to 200 buses are leaving in a day for freight transport.
Thaw Tar Swe Zin, Pyay Thein, Zwe Mahn and Bo Bo Thein