Changing Tracks

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe (2nd R) arrives to visit the site of a bomb attack at St. Anthony's Shrine in Kochchikade in Colombo on April 21, 2019. - A string of blasts ripped through high-end hotels and churches holding Easter services in Sri Lanka on April 21, killing at least 156 people, including 35 foreigners. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Draft changes to the Railways act, that will allow the commuter service to partner the private sector is being finalized before going for Cabinet approval. Draft changes to the Railways act, that will allow the commuter service to partner the private sector is being finalized before going for Cabinet approval. Private sector participation is expected to help boost revenues with the commuter service, putting its vast and underutilized land and real estate holding to work.

The Transport Ministry will also propose a fare hike keeping with increases in running costs, but say prices will be kept below road transport costs.

Running cost per kilometer per passenger is currently over one rupee, but computers only pay an average 20 cents for travel.

Price increases held back over the years has left the railways depending on the treasury for working capital and maintenance costs.

Railway officials say to run the railways efficiently and not burden tax payers it needs to raise fare on a justified formula that takes its costs into account.

Railway officials in an earlier interview said fares need to atleast double just to compensate for the