Home / News/ Govt. negotiating with private bus owners to give train ticket holders free rides

Govt. negotiating with private bus owners to give train ticket holders free rides

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Friday, 10 August 2018 00:53

The Government is currently negotiating with private bus owner associations to allow train season ticket holders to ride for free, Deputy Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Ashoka Abeysinghe said yesterday. 

“We will try to develop a mechanism to pay them for it later,” he said. 

State bus service Sri Lanka Transport Board buses are already allowing season ticket holders to travel without paying. 

Abeysinghe also stated that the Government has requested all private buses to run as an action taken to reduce inconvenience occurred to the public. “Although there are 21,000 private buses that run in the country, only about 15,000 buses run each day. We have asked all 21,000 buses to be put on the roads for transportation, even the buses which do not hold route permits to be used in order to reduce effects of the strike,” he elaborated.

He added that he would inform all Passenger Transport Associations about the new mechanism set in place to allow all private buses to run even without permits. He also said that if the strike continues, the Government will have no choice but to take the optional action of recruiting newly trained engine drivers. These actions have been taken with the objective of reducing the inconvenience candidates taking the GCE A/L examinations this year and other State workers will have to undergo.

As a long-term initiative, the Deputy Minister said that they have decided to train new engine drivers as a precaution against future inconveniences of the Railway Department, and that the trained drivers will be hired within six months. 

“There are 1,400,000 State workers in this country, and everyday almost 500,000 of them use the train to travel in and out of Colombo. Therefore, trains run around the country about 375 times per day,” Abeysinghe stated, stressing on the fact that the reason behind the strike is unfair and that due to their unjust actions, it was the public, including the 500,000 State workers, who were getting harassed.  

The strike was launched yesterday by several trade unions from 3 p.m. against the Cabinet decision suspending an earlier decision to increase wages of railway workers to correct a salary anomaly. 

Share This Article


1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.


Today's Columnists

Challenges in preserving and promoting Pakistan’s Buddhist past

Saturday, 20 October 2018

The international media has been portraying Pakistan as a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism, especially after the Americans carried out a surgical strike there to kill international terrorist and fugitive, Osama bin Laden.

Government’s cohabitation stuck in the past or what?

Friday, 19 October 2018

The appointment of career judge Nalin Perera as the new Chief Justice, who has served in the judiciary for over 30 years, provides a snapshot into President Maithripala Sirisena’s thought process, amidst various stories of clashes with his coalitio

Profit before principle: Khashoggi and US-Saudi relations

Friday, 19 October 2018

The mysterious disappearance of a Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, from inside the Saudi Embassy complex in Turkey on 2 October and an array of circumstantial evidence surrounding his disappearance lead one to suspect that Jamal was possibly abduct

When shame and honour take the hypocritical centre stage

Friday, 19 October 2018

As human beings, we experience a gamut of emotions. These help individuals to express themselves, and authorities to exercise control over entire societies. The most common feelings engendered by our race span a spectrum from guilt and shame to fear.

Columnists More