Transport: In an attempt to improve the public transportation service in Thimphu, the City Bus Service (CBS) under Bhutan Post opened its first One Stop Shop at the city bus terminal in Changlam yesterday.

Commuters can now purchase city bus tickets and also avail other services from the shop. The shop will also function as an information centre for city bus routes and timing.

Transport director Sonam Dendup said that the need for such a facility was felt after commuters complained on the irregularity of ticketing outlets. Currently, there are 45 city bus ticket outlets in Thimphu. “The outlets are run by agents and don’t have a designated location, it was inconvenient for many commuters,” he said, adding that the shop will be an addition to the existing outlets.

Sonam Dendup said that for the convenience of commuters and for better service delivery, CBS came up with the shop with support from the Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan Ltd. Around Nu 200,000 was incurred for the construction of the structure.

“The bus terminal was found to be the ideal location for the shop because it was noticed that almost 90 percent of the journey began at the terminal,” said the transport director, adding that the terminal acted as a hub for city bus commuters.

Students using the city bus services can also avail prepaid cards from the shop. “Before students used to come to the CBS office to collect their prepaid cards. It was inconvenient and time consuming,” he said. “Now all the information related to city buses can be availed from the shop including other services like vouchers, legal stamps and Bhutan Lottery tickets.”

The shop will also monitor the conduct of the city buses and the timely departure and arrival of buses at the terminal. “We would like to plead to the public to make use of the suggestion box so that we can improve our services. We’ll make sure all the feedback, positive and negative are considered and provide a better service.”

Meanwhile, the CBS has cut down half its fleet as the schools are closed for vacation. Of the total 48 city buses in Thimphu, only 24 ply during the winter. Some of the routes like the RTC-route has been closed for now.

“During winters the bus demand is less and there is no use plying all the 48 buses if there is no one using the services,” said Sonam Dendup. However, he said once the schools reopen all the buses will ply including on the new routes identified by CBS.

The shop remains open from 6:30am to 6:30pm from Monday to Saturday and from 12:30pm to 6:30pm on Sundays.

Younten Tshedup