LPBOA threatens to suspend bus services
By Eunice Ruth
Private bus services around the country will be suspended after 6 November, once the A/L Exams are completed, said President of the Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA), Gemunu Wijeratne.
He explained that due to the current COVID-19 threat, passengers are not using public transport as earlier and that it is causing a massive loss. “In the last few days, after monitoring passenger movements, we have reduced the number of buses by 60 per cent,” he added.
“Even though we have submitted proposals and suggestions to reduce the loss, the authorities are not paying enough attention to support us. The authorities need to be more vigilant about the income of the private bus owners as well as the health of passengers, drivers, and conductors. Temperature checks and hand washing practices should be followed in each and every public transport service and the authorities should implement a proper method to start these practices immediately,” said Wijeratne.
He also noted that currently the private bus owners are receiving an income less than 50% of the previous income and that this in turn results in them facing a host of issues such as paying leases, repairing buses, and others.
Deputy General Manager of Operations of the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB), A.H. Panduka Swarnahansa noted that even if private buses suspend services, they will not suspend their service. Also, he noted that currently, they are conducting temperature checks and hand washing practices at the main bus stands and that it is further expected to implement this in all SLTB buses within the island in the upcoming days.