Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) will launch three new bus services on three routes in the capital on Sunday.
The bus services -- Usha, Uttara Circular and Office Jatri -- are being introduced on the new routes to mark Bangladesh's graduation to the list of developing countries from that of the least developed countries, said an official at BRTC.
BRTC, the state-owned passenger and cargo transport services operator, also has plans to expand its services.
Speaking with The Daily Star on Wednesday, BRTC General Manager (administration) Haider Jahan Farash said, “We are launching the [three new] services as part our service expansion plan and more services will be added gradually.”
Starting at 5:00am, the first bus service, Usha, will operate from Sadarghat where a large number of people from southern districts and commuters from surrounding areas arrive on river routes to go to different parts of the capital.
Welcoming the initiative, Bangladesh Jatri Kalyan Samity (BJKS) Secretary General Mozammel Haque Chowdhury said the authorities have to strictly monitor whether proper services are being delivered on the new routes.
Hundreds of people, who reach Dhaka from southern districts on launches, fall victims to CNG-run auto-rickshaw drivers and private bus operators at Sadarghat, he said.
“The passengers [from Sadarghat] are compelled to hire a CNG-run auto-rickshaw for Tk 500, which should not be more than Tk 50,” Mozammel said citing a survey conducted by BJKS last year.
The private bus operators “hold people hostage” to charge five to 10 times higher than the original fare, he alleged, saying, “Under the circumstances, we welcome the introduction of the new BRTC bus route from Sadarghat.”
Mozammel also alleged that many of the BRTC bus services have been closed due to undue influences and pressure from private bus operators. “We hope such episodes will not occur in this case.”
The second bus service, Uttara Circular, will operate four minibuses from Uttara "3rd Phase" to different sectors in Uttara.
The third one, Office Jatri, will have three double-decker buses and it will run between Khilkhet and Motijheel from 7:00am when officegoers find it most difficult to avail a transport.
“We selected this route for the Office Jatri service since the route lacks sufficient private bus services,” BRTC General Manager Haider said.