The National Transport Commission (NTC) in conjunction with the Western Province Passenger Transport Authority has decided to deploy 100 new school buses under the “Sisu Seriya” project in the Western Province, with the beginning of the next school term.
According to the chairman of NTC Roshan Gunawardene, plans are afoot to extend the “Sisu Seriya” bus service to all nine provinces to provide a school bus service exclusively for school children and teachers to enable them to attend schools safely, economically and without physical or mental harassment during travel to and from school.
“The objective of the project is to provide a proper school transportation service to the students for a nominal fee and to minimize the traffic congestion during the school hours in Colombo and the suburbs. A student over 12 years will be charged half the normal fare while a student under 12 years will be charged a quarter of the normal bus fare, he said. “As a result of the improved security situation, more parents tend to send the children to schools in school buses rather than by private vans,” he added.
“There are over 150 requests to deploy buses under the ‘Sisu Seriya bus service within the Western Province alone,” he said. Under the Sisu Seriya programme, the services of private owned bus operators and the Sri Lanka Transport Board will be utilised.
Launched in 2005, Sisu Seriya is a centralized, reliable and concessionary bus service combining the services of SLTB depots and registered private bus service providers. There are at present 878 buses operating island wide under this service.