Some YBS bus lines not operational yet despite slow COVID-19 transmission

14 January 2021

COVID-19 infection rate is slowing down these days and many people are resuming their works as previously-closed companies have reopened in Yangon. But some of Yangon bus lines have not resumed operation so far said a source from Yangon Region Transport Authority (YRTA).

Before the COVID-19, there were over 1.9 million passengers a day with the public transport by more than 4,500 buses. The number of the passengers fell in April and May. The figure slightly rose again in June and fell again in August, but in December, the number of the passengers gradually increased. However, some of the bus lines are still closed due to the closure of the universities and a lack of the commuters.

U Hla Aung, Joint Secretary of Yangon Region Transport Authority (YRTA), said, “Our bus lines are running depending on the movements of the public. There are some bus lines which can’t run during this time. The bus lines such as running to highway bus station, the airport and the universities have stopped operation because of a lack of the passengers.”

The owners earlier had to try to withstand the low income with the united effort of the drivers as number of passengers decreased. The YRTA is now running more buses expecting to see a situation to return to normalcy.

U Thet Tin Win, Managing Director of the Power Eleven Co., Ltd, said, “Our company can currently serve only 50% operation. These days there are only 250 passengers per bus. We are running 200 buses from our three bus lines. We are going to increase the number of the buses depending on the number of the passengers.

The daily income from bus runs is not yet profitable for the bus lines, but plans are being made not to meet any difficulty when the number of passengers increases.

U Hla Aung, Joint Secretary from Yangon Region Transport Authority added, “Currently, we are transporting about more than 600,000 passengers. We are now re operating about 97 or 98 bus lines.’’

It is learnt that the passengers have to take the buses with comfort now because of the low number of passengers and they do not happen to the crowded buses as well. It is rare to take the buses in the afternoon and at nights. The passengers come across the shortage of bus runs during office hours.

U Myo, Passenger from Dagon Seikkan Township, said, “The bus is not crowded as usual and the traffic is very clear and we don’t see any delay in taking the bus like before. During office hours, the buses are a little crowded. It will be better if more buses operate at night in the future.”

As of September and October, YBS bus lines are handling an average of more than 300,000 passengers a day with more than 2000 buses. At the end of the December, more than 520,000 passengers were travelling daily with more than 3000 buses. As of 11 January, the number of the passengers is increasing by more than 610,000 a day with more than 3,200 buses according to the figures from the Yangon Region Transport Authority.

Pomo and Zwe Mahn