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Bus priority lanes project draws mixed reactions

The implementation of the pilot project on priority lanes for passenger buses in the Rajagiriya area yesterday morning was met with mixed reactions.

While the new rule caused traffic jams in some areas, there was less traffic than the usual during rush hour in other areas.

There was heavy traffic from Battaramulla to Rajagiriya while the traffic significantly eased from Rajagiriya to Fort. A majority of the public interviewed on the subject welcomed the new regulation adding that it should be extended up to at least the parliament junction. The one-week pilot project on the priority lane for buses commenced on Sunday morning from Rajagiriya to Ayurveda junction.

When contacted, Road Development Authority (RDA) Traffic Management Unit Deputy Director Saman Vidanapathiranage said the number of police officers would be increased to ensure efficient execution of the pilot project for buses in Rajagiriya.

He said a part of the private vehicles would be encouraged to use the Cotta Road to minimise the difficulties caused to private vehicles by the pilot project.

Priority lanes would be dedicated to buses under the one-week pilot project from Rajagiriya to Ayurveda junction aimed at finding a solution to the traffic congestion in Colombo and to uplift the standard of public transportation.

On the first day of the pilot project, Dr Vidanapathiranage observed that it was natural that users of private vehicles would not be happy, but added that many bus drivers had thanked him for the project.

The Megapolis and Western Development Ministry is implementing the project jointly with the RDA, Sri Lanka Transport Board, Sri Lanka Police, Moratuwa University, Western Province Road Passenger Transport Authority and Colombo Municipal Council.

Under the pilot project, priority lanes for buses have been allocated from Rajagiriya to Ayurveda junction and from Ayurveda junction to Rajagiriya. The pilot project will continue until next Sunday (March 19) with the aim of finding a long lasting solution to the traffic congestion in Colombo.

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