July 29: Private transport companies that have been operating public vehicles since mid-July are preparing to reduce the number of vehicles due to lack of passengers.
Although the government had allowed carrying half of the seat capacity due to the risk of coronavirus infection, the transport entrepreneurs say that the public vehicles have not received even half passengers.
Despite the government’s decision to allow transport entrepreneurs to charge 50 percent more than the normal fare, Sundar Yatayat that has been operating four electric buses in the Valley is rendering its service at the price before the lockdown.
“Although we are providing service at the old fare, there are no passengers. Sometimes the bus runs without any passenger on board,” chairman of Sundar Yatayat Bhesh Bahadur Thapa said. The company is preparing to run only two buses if the situation remains the same.
Likewise, secretary at Digo Yatayat, Lal Prasad Guragain says that they are also planning to operate only four buses from Sunday if the situation does not improve. The company had planned to operate all 17 buses from the first week of August.
Mahanagar Yatayat, which has a total of 39 buses, has only brought 10 buses in operation. “We don’t have plans to operate more buses at present we cannot even collect enough money for fuel and staff expense,” said chief of Mahanagar Yatayat Keshav Nepal.
Similar is the case with the government owned transport company Sajha Yatayat. The company which has been operating 26 buses from July 16 had planned to operate all 71 buses within a month. However, they have halted the decision. “Not even the operating cost is raised, but after the government’s decision, we have been operating the buses to give transportation service,” Mahendra Pandey, CEO of Sajha Yatayat said.
Saroj Sitaula, general secretary of the Federation of Nepali National Transport Entrepreneurs said that there won’t be any difference to transport entrepreneurs if inter-district operation is not allowed.