The special committee on bus route rationalisation (BRR) will seek Tk 1.0 billion from the central bank to launch a company-system bus service on Ghatarchar-Kanchpur pilot route.
Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) mayor Sheikh Fazle Noor Tapash said this while briefing journalists after a meeting of the committee at Nagar Bhaban on Tuesday.
"We'll seek Tk 100 crore from the central bank to loan transport owners at 4.0-4.5 per cent interest rate to modernise existing buses to run on the pilot route."
The mayor said an informal talk with the Bangladesh bank governor has already been held.
The 10-member committee with DSCC mayor as chairman and DNCC mayor as co-chairman has been working on the concept of the previous DNCC Mayor Annisul Huq for five long years to minimise more than 400 routes into a few by merging hundreds of bus owners.
A study conducted under the committee through the Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA) suggested dividing Dhaka city into nine clusters and run buses on 42 routes through 22 companies.
Accordingly, the special committee announced to launch the first route from Ghatara to Motijheel in its 14th meeting in December.
DNCC mayor Atiqul Islam, who attended the 15th meeting, said the route has been extended up to Kanchpur from Motijheel on demand from bus owners.
On the formation of a company, Mr Taposh said a policy would be framed to guide bus owners on formation of a joint-venture company to operate buses.
He said the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) has been asked to fix bus fare on the pilot at a meeting on January 26.
The DTCA has been directed to prepare a draft policy in consultation with transport owners and stakeholders and place in the next committee meeting on February 23.
On the launch of the pilot route, the mayor said after the meeting, they visited sites for inter-district bus terminals and selected four sites-Hemayetpur, Baghair at Keraniganj, Batulia at Uttara and north Kanchpur.
The terminals will be built to free Dhaka of buses coming from districts and cover Gabtoli, Saidabad and Mohakhali terminals as city bus terminals, he added.
He said the proposal to set up inter-district and city bus terminals would be sent to road transport and bridges ministry for approval.
The pilot route is on target for launch on April 01, said the mayor.
Mr Islam said 34 spots inside the city have been identified for construction of bus bays and stoppages for the pilot route.
But the number of bays and stoppages would be increased due to the expansion of the route, he added.
"As per our manifesto we are trying to free Dhaka from traffic congestion and water stagnation. We will get soon a traffic jam free Dhaka city."
Tuesday's meeting asked the BRTA to update all kind of information and data on the pilot route within 15 days and other routes within 90 days.
It also directed the BRTC to withdraw all parked buses from streets.