Private bus service: Is it a real service provider to the nation?
Today, people have begun to express their frustration over the unfair increase of bus fares from time to time in the recent past. It has become the widespread subject of arguments among the public.
A certain bus ownership has threatened an increase in bus fares on its own from September but the Transport Commission has categorically emphasised that transport permits would be revoked against any illegal increase of bus fares. This cold war between a particular bus ownership and the Government has become hot news in the media these days.
It has been the practice throughout to raise bus fares every year irresponsibly with the ...view middle of the document...
With the change of government in 1977, an open economic policy or market-oriented economic policy was introduced to create new economic order to provide more benefits to the nation. The leaders of the then Government did not wish to use the word ‘privatisation’ as it would create unpleasant criticism against the Government. Diplomatically the word used was ‘peopleisation’ instead of ‘privatisation’. However the basic objective was to help create more private sector businesses. Subsequently, the private bus service became operative in 1978 as a result of these changes.
In launching they pledged to provide comfortable accommodation throughout the journey for the passengers. 29 seated buses were used with the exact number of seating passengers. No standingpassengers were entertained. The CTB bus fare was 50 cents from Mount Lavinia to Galle Face while private bus fare was Re. 1.00.
The poor passengers who travelled by the SLTB observed private bus service as one introduced with new comfortable accommodation for those who could afford expensive fare. As it appeared, only a privileged crowd was commuting via the private bus service. The objective of private bus service to facilitate an advanced transport service came a cropper after a few years since, breaching all values of private sector business sector.
Private sector role
Today the private sector plays a remarkable role of its contribution to build the national economy with due recognition by the entire nation. It is the general consensus that the private sector owns a well-planned economic system with high responsibility to promote a meaningful development.
The private sector has proved its competence in investments, trading, providing services, creation of employment opportunities and earning revenue by their skills and enthusiastic effort to boost the national economy. Therefore the majority recognised the private sector as the engine of growth of the economy.
There are formal and informal sectors in private business. The most notable unpopular informal business sector is the private bus service that has caused erosion of public confidence.
Public commute expects a better delivery of goods from bus service on the striking high bus fare paid through the nose within a mound of unbearable burdens. Insurance, telecommunications, etc., were privatised under the Open Economic Policy in a bid to make a bridge of friendship between the customer and the ownership with professional service since investments were initiated by well-organised reputed personalities.
The entire private bus service is owned by persons linked with politicians or different individual characters in the society. Sadly, profit making takes precedence but not customer satisfaction.
Drivers and conductors are recruited without Police clearance of their social conduct solely on discretion of the owner. These illiterate drivers and conductors do not seem to have the modicum of decency to respect the passenger. They...