Mass Transit

Feb 21, 2014 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is likely to opt for a 1.3 billion US dollar monorail mass transit system with Japanese finance to cut traffic congestion and boost mobility in the capital Colombo, an official said.

A link is also planned from Kollupitiya to National Hospital.

A second stage will involve a line running from Kotahena to Kelaniya.

A multimodal hub in Colombo’s Pettah area is likely to cost another 175 million US dollars.

Seneviratne said a traffic masterplan done by Oriental Consultants of Japan also included linking other modes of transport to the rail system including bus-rapid-transit (BRT) and existing broad-gauge railways.

The Japan International Co-operation Agency is willing to fund the first phase, he said.

The monorail is likely to take up to eight years to build with about three years of pre-construction work including design and five years for construction, Seneviratne said.

The government (tax payers) will have to bear the capital cost capital of building the line, he said.

It was also likely that passengers may not be able to pay the full operation and maintenance cost requiring a government subsidy, based on the purchasing power of the people, S