The much-awaited trial run of a new city bus service in a small corridor of Dhaka will begin on 1 December, under an ambitious project that aims to eventually put in place an effective public transport system in and around the capital, reports UNB.

In fact, Dhaka and its outskirts today account for more private vehicles than any other city in Bangladesh. The reason behind this unbridled rise in the number of private vehicles can be attributed to the lack of a robust public transport system. Also, most of the buses that ply in Dhaka are "unfit".

If the two city corporation's bus route rationalisation programme under the name of “Dhaka Nagar Paribahan” gets success in the trial run on the 21 kilometre route from Ghatarchar in Keraniganj to Kanchpur, everything is going to change eventually.

Dhaka South City Corporation's (DSCC) mayor Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh announced the date of the trial run at a media briefing on Tuesday following the 18th meeting of the Bus Route Rationalisation Committee (BRRC) at Nagar Bhaban.

“We held our first meeting on 6 October last year after taking charge. We have been working relentlessly for the last one year in order to bring discipline on the roads of the city. The implementation of the city bus route rationalisation is very tough," he said.

"Today, I am able to give you a date. The buses will run between the pilot route of Ghatarchar to Kanchpur under the new process and it will be able to give standard services to people," the Mayor added.

Taposh, however, made it clear that no old buses will be allowed to operate on the pilot route. The buses purchased after 1 January, 2019 that are plying now on this route will be included in the new service. "New buses will be added on the route as well."

In all, a total of 120 new buses will ply on this route. “Everyone, including the transport owners, has already agreed to this proposal,” said Taposh.

Besides, Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) mayor Atiqul Islam said that the drivers and helpers of these buses will have separate uniform.

"There will be more than 40 stops and 16 bus bays on this route”, he said.

The DNCC mayor further said that the design of the buses plying on this route will be finalised on 20 October. "Besides, the stakeholders have been asked to suggest the colour of the buses on this route by 14 October. We hope to instill discipline in public transport system in Dhaka in phases.”

Barrister Taposh thanked the bus owners’ association and the workers' representatives and said road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader and local government and rural development (LGRD) minister Tajul Islam will inaugurate the Ghatarchar to Kachpur route.

The DSCC mayor said all formalities are almost complete. “Yes, by 1 December, the remaining activities will be completed. Once the green cluster is completed, we will start working with the remaining clusters.”