Once the new terminals are constructed, no inter-district buses will be allowed entry into Dhaka city
The Bus Route Rationalization Committee (BRRC) has primarily selected four venues around Dhaka city for building inter-district bus terminals, with an aim to bring discipline to the transport system.
As the proposed terminals are to be built at entry points of Dhaka, transit oriented development will be done there. Either the metro rail or city bus, or both services will be available at the new terminals.
Once the new terminals are constructed, no inter-district buses will be allowed entry into Dhaka city.
Currently, thousands of buses from other districts and upazilas of the country pick and drop passengers at the inter-district bus terminals in Mohakhali, Syedabad, Gabtoli, and Fulbaria, which is one of the main reasons behind traffic gridlocks in Dhaka.
As the inter-district buses are always parked at the terminals, the city buses are most often parked on roads, which is another cause of traffic congestion.
According to Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) Mayor Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh and Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Mayor Atiqul Islam, the existing terminals will be used as city bus terminals once the inter-district bus terminals are shifted to the new locations.
Both mayors on Wednesday visited the proposed locations for the new terminals — Gram Vaduria in Ashulia (MRT line 6), Hemayetpur in Savar (Dhaka-Aricha Highway), Jhilmil (south of Dhaka-Mawa Highway), and Kanchpur (south of Dhaka-Chittagong Highway).
Mayor Taposh said: “We have primarily selected four places for inter-district bus terminals and instructed to issue notices for controlling further development of land without permission from the authorities concerned.”
“We will finalize the places for the terminals during the upcoming meeting of BRRC, which will be held in January. Then we will send the proposal to the Road Transport and Bridges Ministry for finalization,” he added.
If the locations are finalized, 35-60 acres of land would have to be acquired for each terminal. However, the time needed to develop the terminals and their capacities are yet to be fixed.
“Inter-district buses cannot enter central cities in the developed countries as it creates traffic congestion. That is why we are going to shift the terminals outside,” said DNCC Mayor Atiqul islam.
The Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA) had proposed 10 places for inter-district bus terminals but the BRRC has primarily selected four.
“Although the BRRC has selected only four places, all the proposed 10 places should be considered to get the real benefits of shifting the terminals outside Dhaka city,” said Detailed Area Plan Project Director Ashraful Islam.
Other proposed places are Kanchpur (North Side of Dhaka-Chittagong Highway), Bhulta (beside Dhaka-Sylhet Highway), Bypile (Nabinagar-Chandra Highway), Gazipur (Dhaka-Mymensingh Highway), Amibazar (Eastside of inner ring route), and Kanchon (Southside of Dhaka bypass).
Bus route franchising plan
There are 366 approved routes in Dhaka under the BRTC while the number of approved buses is 9,027. However, active routes are 291 and usually less than 5,000 buses ply each day in Dhaka.
According to the inception report of bus route franchising, the routes will be converted into nine clusters with 42 routes to operate 7,335 buses under 22 companies following franchising method.
Among the nine clusters six will be urban clusters which will be mentioned as Green, Red, Blue, Yellow, Pink, and Purple coded. The three others will be under sub-urban clusters to be connected to neighboring cities like Gazipur and Narayanganj, nearest municipalities like Tarabo, Savar, and Madhobdi.
The 22 companies will be formed following a method ensuring each company operates with less than 500 buses.
The buses of sub-urban routes will have limited access in getting entry into Dhaka so that the length of the urban route will go down.
The buses of sub-urban routes will have limited access for entry into Dhaka so that the length of their urban route goes down.
For example, existing Gazipur to Syedabad is a 38km route which will be curtailed to Gazipur to Ashulia and then there will be another bus for roaming inside the capital city.
The BRRC selected a part of the route no 21 under the company number 11 for a pilot program starting from April 1, 2021.
Route 21 is: Ghatarchar-Basiala-Shonkar-Jigatola-Sciencelab-Matshabhaban-Kakrail-Shaplachattar-Hanifflyover-Signboard-Narayanganj.
The authority is considering a 12.4km long route from Ghatarchar to Shaplachatar via Mohammadpur to run the pilot program.