Anup Ojha, The Kathmandu Post, March 08, 2018
Kathmandu-The first of its kind disabled-friendly bus in the country started its service in Kathmandu Valley from Wednesday.
Operated by Sajha Yatayat, a public transportation cooperative, the bus has been introduced with the aim of serving disabled, infirm and elderly persons who have trouble traveling in regular buses.
Sajha workers prepare the country’s first disabled-friendly for its unveiling.Post photo
The route has been designed so that the bus would travel through major hospital areas of Kathmandu and Lalitpur: Bir Hospital, Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital and Shahid Gangalal Hospital in Kathmandu, and Patan Hospital in Lalitpur. The bus service will be available from 6 am till 11 pm.
The bus service was jointly inaugurated by Kathmandu Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya and Lalitpur Mayor Chiri Babu Maharjan.
Mayor Shakya expressed hope that more people will be encouraged to travel and make their daily commutes on luxurious and disabled-friendly buses that Sajha has been introducing in the streets of Kathmandu Valley lately.
Noting that small-sized passenger transports and two-wheelers were major contributors to the city’s worsening traffic, the Kathmandu mayor said Sajha’s city buses could solve the problem of road congestion.
According to a traffic study, if all the vehicles in Kathmandu Valley were to be arranged in a single line and measured from end to end, it would run for 7.2 million feet. The length of vehicles operating in the Valley far exceeds the actual road length of 4.8 million.
Lalitpur Mayor Maharjan echoed Shakya’s sentiment. He also said that Lalitpur should emulate the efforts of Sajha and Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) to address the problem of the traffic jam. Sajha Chairman Kanak Mani Dixit highlighted the importance of reforming the transportation sector to strengthen the country’s economy.
In 2015, the KMC had invested Rs 100 million to Sajha’s plan of introducing city buses. Today, Sajha has a fleet of 46 buses.
More recently, the KMC and the Lalitpur Metropolitan City have also allocated Rs 50 million and Rs 10 million to expand Sajha’s fleet.