July 29, 2008 (LBO) – An efficient public transport system will help Sri Lanka reduce its fuel bill and curb environmental pollution, a top official from the National Transport Commission (NTC) said. Nearly 70 percent of the total fuel consumption per year is by private passenger vehicles which carry less than 30 percent of the passengers in Sri Lanka, Amal Kumarage, chairman NTC, says.
“We have been singularly guided by the hope the private car will be the answer to our transport problems.”
But all public modes of transport put together will account for less than 15 percent of fuel consumed.
“If 10 percent of passengers were transferred to public transport, 200 million dollars will be saved per year,” Kumarage told a forum on public passenger transport ahead of a summit of south Asian leaders in Colombo.
“Every year the amount we have for building modern road passenger transport or public passenger transport infrastructure, we seem to be burning up in fuel. The longer we delay these developments the harder it will become for us to have good transport.”
The island, similar to most developing countries in the region, does not have enough room to widen or build new roadways in