Colombo, May 8 (newsin.asia) – Sri Lanka’s Central Bank, on Tuesday said the government must explore cheaper and faster options to tackle traffic jams in the island country such as establishing a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system and a light rail transit (LRT) to curb numerous negative externalities.
“Expeditious implementation of effective and affordable traffic management solutions is vital to curb numerous negative externalities arising from traffic congestion,” the Central Bank said in its 2017 annual report.
Major improvements to both public and private bus transport services are essential to overcome traffic congestion in urban areas and reduce productivity losses in the overall economy, the Bank, quoted by local media added.
“While implementing the Light Rail Transit (LRT) system, other solutions targeted directly at root causes of traffic congestion, and relatively faster and cheaper to implement, must be explored by the government,” the Bank said.
These include “restructuring the bus network in the capital of Colombo into a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) System as mooted by industry experts.”
The Central Bank noted that the increase in traffic, mostly by low occupancy vehicles like cars, has been rapid, and resulted in heavy traffic congestion, wasting time and financial resources of the country, while increasing pollution levels.
Buses are slow, congested, uncomfortable and unpredictable, while three wheelers, a popular mode of transportation, and taxis are relatively expensive, prone to accidents and unavailable at peak times.
The total vehicle population in Sri Lanka has risen from 3,390,993 in 2008 to over 6 million in 2016. About 250,000 vehicles enter the Colombo city daily and this number increases annually by 25,000.