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Low-emission Buses Help Cut Congestion and Pollution in Kathmandu

Video | 15 February 2019

A fleet of 17 new high-tech, low-emission buses is taking to the roads in Kathmandu, helping cut congestion and pollution in Nepal's busy capital city.

Passengers can also use cards to pay their fare, while the buses themselves are disabled-friendly. A Global Positioning System (GPS) also lets passengers track buses in real time.

This public private partnership initiative between transport operators and the Government of Nepal, is part of an ADB project to improve mass transport in Kathmandu Valley.

Transcript

Kathmandu, Nepal - Commuters in Kathmandu Valley face a daily grind through traffic and pollution.

Aging microbuses and three-wheelers called ‘tempos’ clog the crowded streets.

A fleet of 17 new high-tech, low-emission buses taking to the roads.

This is a public private partnership initiative between transport operators and the Government of Nepal.

“This bus is more comfortable, and I don’t feel nauseous anymore,” says Binita Adhikari, a passenger on a bus run by Digo Public Transport.

The new buses use the latest technology to ensure a more streamlined service.

A Global Positioning System (GPS) lets passengers track buses in real time.

Passengers can also use cards to pay their fare, while the buses themselves are disabled-friendly.

Plying on a busy route, these buses could cut congestion and pollution.

“The new vehicles that we brought in are low emission ones, and the old vehicles which caused a lot of pollution have been taken off the route,” comments Ananta Acharya, Project Director at Kathmandu Sustainable Urban Transport Project.

“So there’s twofold advantage in improving the environment, which is great.”

The initiative is part of an ADB project to improve mass transport in Kathmandu Valley.

Under this project, microbus and tempo owners are banding together to form a private limited company.

“The common interest of both public and private sector is improvement of air quality, walkability, pedestrian friendly,” says Suman Maher Shrestha, a Business Development Specialist from the Town Development Fund.

“For this partnership to work, private sector has to provide services while the public sector has to support with rules and regulations, incentives and fill in the viability gaps.”

Shareholders of the new company get regular dividends.

The ADB project is helping to improve traffic management in the city center.

It is also building knowledge and skills in the Department of Transport Management.

“For a rapidly growing city like Kathmandu, a more efficient and environment friendly public transport system is the answer to reduce pollution, congestionand provide convenient service to passengers,” says Mukhtor Khamudkhanov, Country Director of the Asian Development Bank’s Nepal resident mission.