ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday April 13, 2008
Vol. 42 - No 46

Special transport arrangements for the New Year season

Special transportation arrangements for the New Year season have been drawn up by the Sri Lanka Railways and the National Transport Commission. The new railway schedule comes into effect from today and continues till April 21.

Two special trains will be introduced tomorrow and on Monday to boost the usual train services running from Colombo, and 19 special trains will ply between Colombo and Kandy, Bandarawela, Hatton, Rambukkana, Matara, Batticaloa and Galle between April 19 and 21.

The number of trains will be increased according to the volume of passengers, a Sri Lanka Railways officer said. Traditionally, the bulk of New Year travellers return to Colombo after the New Year week, while the balance arrive in Colombo earlier. Security arrangements will see Army, Navy and Air Force personnel in place at all railway stations.

Meanwhile, the National Transport Commission (NTC) announced that all buses carrying permanent licences will be in service throughout the season, providing a 24-hour service in addition to their usual schedules. About 350 buses will be pressed into service for long-distance trips, and passengers will not be permitted to reserve seats during this peak travel season, an NTC officer told The Sunday times.

A special 24-hour bus service has been set up in Bastian Mawatha and Gunasinghepura. CTB buses and a limited number of private buses will be operating out of Colombo till the end of the season. Bus operators will be paid 12.32 rupees per kilometre for Colombo-bound return journeys running without passengers.

Provincial Road Passenger Transport Authorities have said they will increase the number of Colombo-bound buses in the post-New Year days, according to the demand for seats to Colombo.“Buses will run every five minutes, according to the number of passengers,” said an official. “Some transport centres have agreed to run a 24 hour bus service during the season.”

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