Mar 03, 2017 (LBO) – Sri Lanka office of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has commenced the preparatory study for the first elevated Light Rail Transit (LRT) line in Sri Lanka between Colombo and Malabe.
JICA said in a statement, the study will address key aspects such as current and projected traffic patterns, environmental and social impacts, economic viability, financial implications, optimization of the route, inter-modal connectivity, implementation schedules and operation and maintenance systems.
The approximately 25km route which would be covered by the study runs through Malabe – Battaramulla – Rajagiriya – Borella – Union Place – Kollupitiya and Fort.
“As much detailed study has been conducted on this route by JICA during the feasibility study for monorail it would be possible to shorten the period of the new study by using the same data to the extent possible,” JICA said.
“The final optimum route would be determined with special focus on environmental and social considerations, and inter-connectivity with other public transport modes.”
Malabe to Fort is a high priority transport corridor which connects the administrative capital to the business district in metro Colombo.
The CoMTrans (Urban Transport Master Plan for Colombo Metropolitan Region & Suburbs) Master Plan study conducted with JICA assistance in 2012 – 2014 has found that this corridor carries the largest number of vehicles and has the lowest speed compared to all other corridors.
It is also the one major corridor currently not served by a rail based public transport mode. The monorail study found this route economically viable if some of the private vehicle users would shift to public transport during the rush hours.
“The various Government agencies which are responsible for different aspects of land transport would need to coordinate and work towards prioritizing public transport to transform Colombo into a more advanced city,” Chief Representative of JICA Sri Lanka Office, Kiyoshi Amada said.
“We hope the Government of Sri Lanka will maintain such policy consistency which would be crucial to provide equitable, efficient, environmentally sustainable and safe mode of transport to all citizens.”
As evidenced by dynamic cities around the world, improvement and increased usage of public transport systems is the effective and sustainable solution to urban traffic congestion.
JICA expects the study will set a strong foundation to realize this flagship project which will bring economic and social benefits to the entire country.