Park and ride service in Sri Lanka displays the corporate responsibility of the business class

(September 23, 2009 - Lanka Polity) Transport authorities of Sri Lanka in March this year introduced a service called Park and Ride City Liner on Galle Road from the outskirt of Colombo to the city heart.

The vehicle park on Galle Road near the Angulana Junction at Katubedda provides parking for around 150 vehicles and is serviced by the first CityLiner Coach Service for which a permit has been granted to E.C.D. Global Ltd by the Western Provincial Road Passenger Authority on the recommendation of the National Transport Commission for operating between Moratuwa and Fort via Nawam Mawatha.

The Transport Ministry website says, "This service provides a facility that allows commuters and other people wishing to travel into the city center, to leave their personal vehicles in a secured car park and transfer to a luxury coach which will take them as close as possible to their destinations. Initially the Katubedda-Fort service will be operated every 30 minutes between 6.30 a.m. to 7.30 p.m. hours. Those wishing to use this City Liner Services can either park their vehicles at Katubedda which is free of charge at present or board the City Liner Coaches en route. However, passengers will need to have purchased a ticket before boarding the bus and cannot hail it on the road and get in. A seat will be guaranteed for every passenger and passengers will be able to choose which vehicle they wish to travel in according to the available time table. It is expected that the City Liner would operate through the day as the demand picks up and will operate at 10 minutes frequencies during the peak hours."

Around 750,000 people travel by road to Colombo daily. Of them, 65% arrive in 12,000 buses and trains with the balance 35% traveling in 200,000 cars, vans, motor cycles and three wheelers. The Urban Transport Strategy aims at reducing the number of private vehicles to 175,000 by the year 2010. Private vehicles presently take up around 65% of the road space. Thus for every 1% reduction in private vehicles, current speeds are expected to increase by 1%.

However, the Park and Ride facility and the City Liner that was expected to save both time and fuel for the user as well as for the non-user has become a white elephant. Minister of Road Passenger Transport Lasantha Alagiyawanna said to state-owned Dinamina Sinhala language newspaper that only 12 passengers used this facility since March to September. However, the number has increased to 40 now.

The NTC has also selected a site to develop for a Park and Ride in Kadawatha on Colombo - Kandy highway. Places in Talangama and Werehera have also been identified on some other highways.

The cold response of Sri Lanka's upper middle class officials and businessmen to this business class facility clearly portrays the nature of the corporate responsibility of this social strata.



  1. C'mon. They dont want to commit Harakiri? That would destroy the Economy.


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