HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Kathmandu Metropolitan City officials have decided to set up a toll-free hotline service to receive complaints and disseminate information about the night bus service launched three days ago.
This comes following complaints from the general public that some buses were not operating as per the schedule. Even concerned officials were looking for ways to get passengers’ feedback on the service.
“We are going to set up the toll-free number (166-00-1000-77) in a few days so that the public can receive information about the service and lodge complaints if they have any,” said KMC Executive Chief Kedar Bahadur Adhikari. “Two to three KMC staffers, who are yet to be selected, will be deployed to deal with the calls,” he added.
The KMC in collaboration with the National Federation of Nepal Transport Entrepreneurs launched the night bus service in Kathmandu and Lalitpur, operating from 8:00-11:00pm from August 17. The buses have been scheduled to depart for their destinations every hour.
It has been reported that some drivers were not keen on doing the last trip. Only a couple of buses have been picking up passengers at 11:00pm, the general public have complained. “We are going to monitor the impact the service has had,” said Adhikari. “We are also revising the bus schedules so that they become available every 45 minutes,” he said.
It has also been reported that buses plying some routes were crowded while others were running empty. “Buses plying Kalanki, Koteshwor and Chabahil routes are very crowded,” said Adhikari. “Buses on other routes are crowded only during the first and second trips,” he said.
Of the night buses, four have been put along the Ring Road and remaining from Ratnapark to five other destinations. Two buses each are ferry passengers along the Satdobato-Ratnapark, Koteshwor-Sinamangal-New Bus Park, Jorpati- Ratnapark, Kalanki-Rantapark and Balaju-Ratnapark routes.
The buses, equipped with CCTV cameras, are on trial for six months and the service is to be continued only if it is found to be financially viable, according to the KMC.
The federation hopes that volume of passengers would gradually increase over the coming months. It has agreed not to charge passengers more than the daytime fares for first three months.
As per the agreement between the federation and city officials, Rs 4.5 million — Rs 2 million from the KMC and Rs 2.5 million from the Ministry of Finance — has been already provided for initial six-month of services.