Transport: Some 25 passengers will board a 30-seater bus in Phuentsholing and travel towards Zhemgang today marking the start of a passenger bus service between Zhemgang and Phuentsholing via Gelephu.

The bus will ply between the two dzongkhags every alternate day hereafter.

Senior regional transport officer Kinga Gyeltshen said the passenger bus service between Zhemgang and Gelephu was discontinued after it became economically non-viable.

RSTA (Road Safety and Transport Authority) and the Zhemgang dzongkhag administration asked Bumpa transport company to start the service given public demand and feedback, he said.

The bus will stop at Gelephu for 30 minutes. “We will see if half an hour’s time is enough,” Kinga Gyeltshen said, adding that they would extend the time if necessary.

He added that there are concerns about public demand for the services sustaining. However, the bus operator will use two different kinds of buses depending on the number of passengers. A coaster bus will be used if there are less than 30 passengers on a particular day.

Today, a DCM truck that plies between Buli and Gelephu comes to Zhemgang once a week. The introduction of the passenger bus service is expected to address transportation problems faced by people in Zhemgang. With no regular public transport, travellers have to depend on lifts, and sometimes have to wait for days to find one.

Passengers will have to pay Nu 304 to travel from Phuentsholing to Zhemgang. However, if the coaster bus is used they will have to pay Nu 448.

Nima Wangdi