City Bus Service and Thimphu Thromde’s plan to decongest traffic at Lungtenzampa by providing bus services to school has proved successful and could be expanded to other schools in the future.
In April last year, 12 buses were deployed for the students of Lungtenzampa Middle Secondary School (LMSS) and Yangchenphu Higher Secondary School (YHSS) in Thimphu as a pilot project.
Thimphu Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee said that teachers and about 1,000 students of LMSS and YHSS who are yet to avail of the service have shown interest to commute by bus. “The idea to expand the services was because it proved successful. But that could happen only in the 12th Plan”
City Bus Service’s Operations and Maintenance Manager, Pasang Tshering, said that last year a presentation was made to the Ministry of Finance for additional buses to expand the service. “ Parents also requested for city bus service. However, we couldn’t do anything due to lack of resources. We will present our plan to the board of Bhutan Post this month.”
According to Pasang Tshering the finance ministry has directed City Bus Service to present the proposal to Bhutan Post’s board.
The proposal will also be presented to Ministry of Information and Communications.
“It will entirely depend on the directive we get from these two organisations because these are our parent organisations,” said Pasang Tshering.
If the proposal is accepted, Thimphu Thromde and City Bus Service will deploy the buses for schools such as Motithang Higher Secondary School, Rinchhen Kuenphen Primary School, Jigme Namgyel Lower Secondary School, and Changangkha Middle Secondary School. The buses are expected to ply on the peripheral route of Thimphu to leave the core routes free.
Today, the 12 buses cater to about 1,000 students of YHSS and LMSS. The bus services work on a prepaid system. A student must pay for a six-month service.
Pasang Tshering said that City Bus Service provided 30 percent discount on the travel amount. “If the services continue and expand, we could give the 30 percent discount for students.”
The pilot service operated with 50 percent subsidy from the thromde.
“For six month’s service, a student pays about Nu 1,500, which is reasonable,” Pasang Tshering said.
Pasang Tshering added that the service also helped minimise vehicle emission.