Transport: Commuters can now avail city bus timetable and other information on the city bus service’s website that was launched yesterday.

Information and communications secretary, Dasho Karma W Penjor, who is also the chairman of Bhutan Post inaugurated the City bus service’s website, logo and a wash bay for the buses.

City bus service’s director, Sonam Dendup, said that without a website, people were not able to get information about the city bus routes, its timings, and frequencies, among others.

“The website will be a platform for people to get information about city buses as well as a platform to comment and give suggestions about the services,” Sonam Dendup said.

The website is one of the components to make city bus services attractive so that more people will avail the service.

As of now, the website doesn’t have much information. However, the office will add more information with time, he added.

The office has also placed an order for 18 new buses and the buses are expected to arrive in the city in three months. The government provided Nu 67 million for the procurement of the buses.

Sonam Dendup said that the office is working on securing funds to upgrade and construct sheltered bus stops in the city. “It is still in a concept stage,” he said. However, bus stop designs are complete.

The city has about 140 bus sign posts erected but only about 70 locations are feasible for constructing bus stops with shelter. “For different location, different bus stop designs are made,” Sonam Dendup said.

He added that all the bus stops would be connected to footpaths so as to make the service user friendly. “The thromde is improving the city’s footpaths. We are working closely with the thromde because improved footpaths would boost our bus service delivery,” he said.

The logo, which has a green bus, represents eco friendly mass transportation. The eternal knot at the back represents connectivity while the green background on the logo represents the pristine environment of the country.

Sonam Dendup said that 44 percent of the green house gas emissions in the country is generated from transport. “Mass urban transportation like buses will have lot of impact on our environment in reducing green house gas emission.”

The city bus service, which is a part of Bhutan post’s service didn’t have its own identity, Sonam Dendup said.

The logo, which will now be an identity for the city bus service will be used on the buses, website, souvenirs, and bus tickets, among others.

With support from UNDP, the office has constructed a wash bay and water pump within its premises after the thromde cut its water supply because of shortage of drinking water in the city.

Sonam Dendup pointed out that after joining the office, he found that the city buses have not been washed for several months. “The buses were stinking and plying dirty and that actually discouraged people from using the buses.”

As per the requirement of the National Environment Commission, three separate tanks were constructed at the wash bay.

The dirty water that will contain harmful oils from vehicles will be stored in the first tank, which then will flow to the second tank that has coal in it. After filtering the toxics, the water is purified in the third tank and then released back into the Thimchhu.

This is a model wash bay for other vehicle wash areas Sonam Dendup said.

Dechen Tshomo