Sri Lanka to improve public transportation in 2017: Fin Min


Dec 23, 2016 (LBO) - Several steps have been taken to improve public transportation with the building of new roads, upgrading railway, deploying priority bus lanes and building light rail, Sri Lanka's finance ministry said on Friday. Plans are underway to construct two new roads, one between New Kelani Bridge and Athurugiriya and, the second road between Kelani Bridge and Colombo Port in 2017, while the the proposed new light railway system will also commence next year. "This new light railway system will cover the main suburbs including Borella, Kottawa, Battaramulla, Kaduwela, Maradana, Mattakkuliya, Peliyagoda, Dematagoda, Kadawatha, Bambalapitiya and Kirullapane," the Finance Ministry said in a statement.
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"In addition, Budget 2017 has proposed a mechanism to streamline public bus service within city limits." Under this mechanism, Colombo Municipal Council, in collaboration with Road Development Authority will introduce separate lanes for public buses. Another project will be launched to upgrade the existing railway lines in order to reduce the number of buses entering daily to the city. Accordingly, Kelani Valley Railway line will be extended up to Rathnapura and an additional line will be constructed between Polgahawela and Kurunegala. The vehicle speed limit within Colombo was between 40 to 60 kilometers per hour in 1980 but it has currently been reduced to 8 kilometers per hour. It is predicted that this speed limit will further reduce to 6 kilometers by 2020. The main reason for this is the increasing number of vehicles on public roads.The total vehicle population in Sri Lanka was 3,390,993 in 2008. It rose to 6,302,141 in 2015. The length of A and B grade roads in the country is 12,173 kilometers. 250 thousand vehicles daily enter the Colombo city and this number annually increases by 25,000.