30 June 2020
Yangon Region Transport Authority (YRTA) has been in the preparation for providing more YBS buses as passengers travel more, said a source from the YRTA.
Before COVID-19, the YRTA provided public transport service with the use of 4,400-4,500 buses a day. The public transport service by the YRTA accounted for 33 % in April, 60 % in May and 88 % in June. The number of passengers taking YBS buses made an average of 1.8 million as a total, accounting for 19 % in April, 33 % in May, 37 % in June and more than 40 % at the end of June. The current public transport service hasn’t returned to normalcy, but the YRTA is in the preparation for providing public transport service using more YBS buses because it is hoped that the passengers will be more and the schools will be reopened in July.
U Hla Aung, Joint Secretary of Yangon Region Transport Authority (YRTA), said, “We, the YRTA, have to prepare for providing public transport service according to the situation of the travel of the passengers. In this state, we are trying to be able to provide transport service until the situation returns to normality, but anti-Covid-19 restrictions we will have to follow are still in effect. Our situation depends on the travels of the passengers. It is not easy to tell now when the normal situation comes. Therefore, let me say the YRTA is now providing the travelling people with smooth and secure transport service. The YRTA has seen a decline in its income and every bus line has a little difficulty. But we are taking up this responsibility. We have to remedy the worries of YBS drivers and distribute masks and hand gels. If the bus lines can’t afford the cost, we will have to attend to their requirement. We are carrying out preventive measures against the virus. We have to take into consideration of social distancing guidance. We are facing limitations although we would like to fulfill the requirement of the people.”
The current number of passengers taking YBS amount to 800,000 a day and some bus lines earn less income and it can’t cover the running cost. The bus lines are currently carrying out sanitation and disinfection because COVID-19 can’t be completely controlled.
U Win Naing, In-charge Director of YBS, Parami Transport Service of Bandoola Transport Company Limited, said, “We have seven bus lines and eight routes, providing transport service with the use of 314 buses. We closed our bus lines from 13 to 16 April during Thingyan holidays. 1,532 buses ran during the remaining days in April. The use of number of buses accounted for 21 percent and the number of passengers were more than 200,000 accounting for 12.10 percent. In May, 2,539 buses ran, accounting for 26.08 percent. There were more than 400,000 passengers that accounted for 15.17 percent. Up to 23 June, 4,743 buses ran and the use of number of buses accounted for 65.67 percent. There were more than 1,110,000 passengers that accounted for 47.52 percent.”
The buses are crowded in the rush hours. In other hours, the passengers taking the buses are very fewer. At this time, the passengers need to be careful about the close contact with one another in the bus. They also need to wear masks and the YRTA should send more buses during the rush hours. It is important that all the passengers must follow the instructions as to the preventive measures against the virus.
Ma Me Me Kyaw, a company servant from Dala Township, said, “Everyone should wear a mask in this time. When I go out I wear a mask, and use hand gel. When I start to wear the masks, I feel trouble breathing and later it will be okay. I would like to tell that those failing to wear masks should be fined and those failing to wash hands should be also fined. Earlier it was difficult for me to go and now I am used to the current situation.”
The restrictions with regard to the COVID-19 will be relaxed slowly by slowly and the schools will be reopened during July. For these reasons, the YRTA is in the preparation for providing more transport service to the passengers using more YBS buses.
Zwe Mahn and Ye Naing (Laukkai)