The Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) is going to launch 10 buses for the students in Chattogram next week.
Only school and madrasa students will be able to use these buses when travelling to and from their educational institutions. The buses will initially operate on two routes in the city in morning and afternoon.
Students will have to pay Tk 5 for each trip and show their school ID cards before getting on the buses. They will deposit the fare in one of the two boxes placed at the doors of the buses.
“There will be two helpers in every bus but there will be no conductor or supervisor to realise the fare. Instead, there will be two boxes on each side of the bus which we call ‘honesty box’, where students will put Tk 5 when they get off the bus,” said BRTC’s Chattogram Bus Depot Manager Ziaur Rahman.
“We want to see if students are practicing morality by paying fares by themselves.”
During the students’ movement for safe roads last year, the prime minister pledged to launch a bus service for the benefit of the students, Ziaur told The Daily Star, adding that in light of that commitment, the initiative to launch these buses was taken.
He said buses under the first route will leave from Bahaddarhat and go to New Market via Baduratala, Muradpur, Chawkbazar, Gani Bakery, Jamalkhan, Cheragi Pahar, Nandankanan and Amtal and travel back on the same route.
Bus under the second route will go to Agrabad via Oxygen, Muradpur, Sholashahar Gate No 2, GEC Intersection, WASA Intersection, Tiger Pass, Dewan Hat and Chowmuhani and travel back on the same route.
BRTC officials said all buses have already been fully prepared for the operation.
Students and parents welcomed the government’s initiative.
They said once the buses are launched, the students and parents, as well as the common people, will be benefitted.
“My daughter is a student at a private school in the city,” said Sudhir Dutta, a resident of Chawkbazar in the city.
“But on her way to school, she has to struggle to get on a public transport. She has to wait for long due to the inadequate number of vehicles compared to the passengers on the road.”
This service will ease the pressure on other commuters during rush hours, said Sudhir.
Ziaur said although each bus has 75 seats, around 100 students will be able to board it.
Deputy Commissioner of Chattogram Mohammad Elias Hossain told The Daily Star that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a private company -- GPH Ispat -- was signed and the company would sponsor all buses and pay Tk 5 lakh per month in exchange.
He said three CCTV cameras will be installed on each bus for security adding, “I would like to urge all parents to send their children to school on these buses instead of sending them by private vehicles.”