Around 155 buses of different owners will run under a single company on the Ghatarchar-Kanchpur route from September this year as part of Bus Routes Rationalisation to ease traffic congestions in the capital.
The Bus Route Rationalisation Committee (BRRC) has decided to introduce the country's first bus franchising system on a pilot basis from 7 September.
As per the BRRC decision, a bus depot will be built at Ghatarchar, Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh told the media after the meeting at Nagar Bhaban in the capital.
"Although the piloting was scheduled to start on 1 April, due to the pandemic and lockdowns, we were not able to do it," he added.
He said buses will not be allowed to pull over anywhere other than at specific stops, and accordingly, the building of bus stops and passenger sheds on this route is underway.
Deeds for the bus owners have already been prepared and the documents will be finalised with the owners on 29 July, said Taposh, adding, "We have already finalised the bus fares for the route."
He said to lessen traffic congestion in the capital, the inter-district buses will not be allowed to enter the city. That's why four bus terminals on the periphery of Dhaka will be set up soon.
"We have already selected four sites – Batulia at Uttara, Hemayetpur, Baghair at Keraniganj and Kanchpur – for setting up the terminals," the mayor said.
"Again, buses will have to meet the criteria set by experts in the committee to run in the city. And to renovate the buses, the Bangladesh Bank will provide a Tk100 crore fund. Owners can apply for their required amount of loans and banks will provide that."
"We have come to know that 1,646 buses are running in the city without any route permit," said Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Mayor Md Atiqul Islam, who was also present at the meeting.
"A crackdown against them will be conducted from 1 July and all of them will be scrapped," warned the mayor, adding that no bus will be allowed to run on the city routes without permission.
From now on, vehicles have to take route permits first, then they will get the registration, he added.
As per the Bus Route Rationalisation System, an initiative first taken by the late Dhaka North mayor Annisul Huq in 2015, the entire city will be divided into 42 routes and all the buses operate under 22 companies.