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Myanmar to Get Its First Bus Rapid Transit System

The country’s first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system will soon be operated on Waizayandar Road in Yangon, according to a recent announcement at a Yangon Regional Parliament session.

In August, local firm Omni Focus Co was granted approval t0 operate the bus system and currently, assessments and measurements for the necessary space and lanes are being conducted, said U Aung Khin, transport minister of the regional government.

“Over the next three months, BRT will run on Waizayandar road on a trial basis. During this time, other bus lines will not be allowed to operate on the road,” U Aung Khin said. The service is expected to be fully operational in November.

The regional government mentioned the plan in response to a question posed by U Aye Thin, parliament representative for Tamwe township, over the prospect of running bus lines on Waizayandar road, which stretches from Tamwe township to the town of Bago.

Omni Focus Co submitted a proposal to the Myanmar Investment Commission to invest in and operate the BRT system, said U Kyaw Nay Win, head of the company and the grandson of the late military general U Nay Win.

The company’s proposal includes an investment of $7 million (K7 billion) with expected monthly expenditures of K15 million to run the central management system, K15 million for the traffic control department, K10.8 million for supervising department, K20 million to maintain the dedicated lane for BRT buses and K15.6 million for staff at the 39 field stations. The company said it has also paid income taxes.

According to the Yangon City Development Committee, since 2013, the regional government has been conducting research that supports the implementation of the BRT system as part of the greater development scheme for Yangon.

The Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Rails and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are also working together to implement the system, which will work to install supporting infrastructure such as the building of roads, an International Transportation System (ITS) and bus stops.

The system, which is used internationally, uses dedicated lanes for buses and has only a few stops along the route. The system will be first launched on a trial basis and will run without specific bus stops.

The system plans to use 10 buses, which will charge a fare of K400 per passenger. The aim of BRT system is to improve transportation infrastructure, which is strained with the rapid economic development of the country.

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