The number of transports on the Dhaka-Khulna highway saw an increase after the Padma Bridge was opened to the public today.
Thousands of people commute daily on the Dhaka-Khulna route. From now on, they can make the journey without facing the many hassles that came with the ferry crossing at Mawa Ghat. Passengers have expressed excitement over the relief. Traders have also increased the number of transports on this route.
There are more than 20 Dhaka-bound public transport counters at the Royal Junction in Khulna.
"23 buses left Khulna for Dhaka. Two more buses have been added on the occasion of Padma Bridge. The next two days we will see in an experimental way. If the number of passengers increases, we will also increase the number of buses," said Sharif Al Mamun, manager of Imad Paribahan in Khulna.
He said that Imad Paribahan is charging Tk700 per person on the AC buses and Tk800 on non-AC buses on Dhaka-Khulna route.
"The first bus left Khulna at 4.50 am today. At the same time, a bus from Dhaka started for Khulna," he added.
Sohag Paribahan Royal Junction counter assistant manager Bulbul said, "Before us, there were two transport companies on Dhaka-Khulna route. At present, there are a total of 17 bus companies on this route."
"Our first non-AC bus left at 6.45am today, Besides, the first AC bus left at 8:15. The number of passengers in the two buses was higher than before," he added.
Sohag Paribahan's fare on Dhaka-Khulna route is Tk1,200 per passenger on AC bus and Tk600 on non-AC bus.
Almost all bus companies have increased the number of vehicles on the Dhaka-Khulna route.
The transport fare for all non-AC public buses is Tk600 on the Dhaka-Khulna route. AC bus fares range from Tk700-1,200.
Passengers traveling from Khulna to Dhaka have expressed their excitement.
"I am going to Dhaka on business. It was a dream of mine to cross the Padma Bridge. It will be fulfilled today," a passenger named Ashraf Uddin said.
Another passenger named Azgar Ali said, "I am going to Dhaka via Padma Bridge the day it has been opened to the public. Before, it would take about 7 hours to go to Dhaka. Today may take 3 or 4 hours. It is a big win for the people of the south."
"The fare of non-AC buses running on the Khulna-Dhaka route has been kept close to the fare of BRTC buses. However, the AC bus fare is not fixed by the government. It is determined by the bus owners.We have informed all bus owners not to charge more," Khulna District Bus-Minibus
Coach Owners' Association Joint Secretary Anwar Hossain Sona said
The Road Transport Authority (BRTA) has fixed the fares of vehicles including passenger buses on 12 routes that would use the Padma Bridge to go to various destinations in the south.
As the distance from Dhaka's Sayedabad to Khulna via Mawa is 207km, the fare on this route has been fixed at Tk537. However, bus companies have been charging a fare of Tk600 for non-AC buses on the route.