Private bus operators declare neutrality at upcoming polls

By Don Asoka Wijewardena

Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) President Gemunu Wijeratne yesterday announced that his association would not support the government at the forthcoming provincial council elections as it was an apolitical association.

Addressing a media conference at the Narahenpita women’s centre, Wijeratne said the LPBOA wanted the government to implement the pre-paid card system for private buses from 2014 July. If the government introduced the pre-paid card system, the LPBOA would be ready to reduce the bus fares as under the existing set up their conductors were pocketing a share of the daily income.

Wijeratne pointed out that he had asked the government to immediately remove the election posters pasted on private buses as the LPBOA had sent a letter to the Elections Commissioner regarding the issue.

The LPBOA had no faith in the provincial transport ministry, private transport services minister C.B. Ratnayaka, National Transport Commission (NTC) and the Western Province Road

Passenger Transport Authority at the way those organisations were treating the private bus industry.

He said that the government had declared that a National Transport Policy to streamline the transport services would be introduced in 2016, but it had to be implemented forthwith.

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