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

Warriors who fight for a larger purpose

Friday, 17 August 2018

Are women more naturally inclined to cooperation than men? Sulochana Sigera’s impassioned statement at last week’s Women in Management Awards seemed to suggest so. Addressing the under-representation of women decision-makers, Sigera pointed to th

Do we sink or swim? No Michael, row the boat ashore!

Friday, 17 August 2018

Why Sri Lanka needs to strengthen geopolitical ties to be a competitive global economy by 2030

Sri Lankan people want leaders to be decisive

Friday, 17 August 2018

The different leaders we have seen in Sri Lanka in the last 40 years beginning with JRJ to the current President were very different in their approach to power and authority, based on their cultural values and understandings of the leadership style.

The strategic role of the finance function: The path to relevance

Thursday, 16 August 2018

During my term as Global President of CIMA nearly a decade ago, the theme I chose for my year of leadership was a single word – ‘relevance’. The word relevance is perpetual. It is contextual to when it is used. It is extremely applicable to the

Columnists More