Bringing order to public transport and easing traffic jams in the capital city where 15 million people reside is not only urgent but also essential. No headway can be seen in this regard despite repeated assurances from the government. The main demands of the road safety movement of 2018 were restoring order in the public transport sector and ensuring the safety of passengers. Dhaka Nagar Paribahan bus service, a new bus franchise service from Keraniganj’s Ghatarchar to Narayanganj’s Kanchpur, was launched Sunday. The service has been launched experimentally. We welcome this move.

The bus service was virtually inaugurated by road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader. Dhaka South City Corporation’s mayor Sheikh Fazle Nur Taposh and Dhaka North City Corporation’s mayor Md Atiqul Islam were also present during the ceremony. The bus service will operate along the Mohammadpur, Gulistan, Motijheel and Signboard route. The bus will not stop anywhere other than at designated stoppages and passengers will not be able to board the bus without tickets. The tickets would be issued digitally. The number of buses on the route will be increased to 100 gradually and the service would be launched throughout Dhaka within 2023.

Dhaka South City Corporation’s (DSCC) former mayor Annisul Huq had launched ‘Dhaka Chaka’, a public bus service in Gulshan-Banani area in order to ease the chaos in bus service. The initiative has already brought back restored order in that area. The deceased mayor had the plan to initiate such bus services in other routes too but it was not possible due to obstruction of certain vested quarters and powerful transport owners. The launching of the new bus service, however, has implemented the late mayor’s plan partially. But the buses of the route are not new and the question looms large as to whether the initiative would be a success.

In past, many good initiatives of the government failed due to negligence and incompetence of the concerned authorities. Water bus service was launched with much hype to ease the city’s traffic congestion. A huge amount of money was spent on the project but it did not yield any results.

This system of public transport service would not hurt the business of other bus owners since the traffic congestion is perennial in the city. Other bus companies can form a consortium. While some companies now get an extra advantage in the name of route permits, there would be no such chance available in route based transport system. So, everyone would be able to share the profit in route-based system. However, new buses should be given priority in case of the introduction of route-based bus and unfit buses should be removed from the route immediately. These rundown buses also often cause accidents. The two city corporations' plan to shift inter-district bus terminals outside the city should be implemented as soon as possible.