Urban Transit

Mar 28, 2013 (LBO) – A bus rapid transit (BRT) solution could be implemented faster and at a much lower cost to prevent gridlock in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo, while a more expensive rail based Metro system is built, , officials said. The state has been investing heavily in transport in recent years, but mostly in the road network roads around the country, especially rebuilding a system that was under-invested during a 30-year war.

Kumarage said the state had been investing about 3.0 percent of gross domestic product in transport and the private sector 2.0 percent, which was good.

But urban congestion cannot be solved by roads alone, Kumarage said. In congested areas like Colombo public transport should not be allowed to drop below 50 percent, based on the international experience he said.

Colombo’s traffic is expected to slow down further as incomes rise and people drop low quality bus transport. Officials say there is an excess of buses in some areas.

Colombo’s average traffic speed may drop to 17.4 kilometres per hour from 21.6 in 2021 and it may drop to 9.1 kilometres in 2031 unless public transport was changed.

Strategies such as congestion pricing could be introduced, which Rohan Samarajiva, head of Lir