First Business News Portal in English from Nepal
KATHMANDU: Public vehicles are all set to begin ticket bookings for the festive season from next week. After having necessary discussions with concerned stakeholders it has been decided that advance booking for long-distance destinations will be opened from next week, said Loknath Bhusal, information officer at the Department of Transport Management (DoTM).
As people are unlikely to travel this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the department along with the stakeholders is preparing to open advance booking with an aim to serve only around 600,000 passengers, he said.
“Last year, a total of two million passengers had left Kathmandu during the festive season. However this year we have estimated that only 600,000 passengers may travel outside the valley,” he said. “Thus the advance bookings will be open from next week considering the passenger flow.”
The department expects advance bookings to provide a convenient system for passengers to book their tickets and middle-men will not be active in selling tickets on the black market, Bhusal added.
To provide safe and convenient travel to passengers the DoTM is holding necessary discussions with traffic police and public vehicle operators.
According to Bhusal, a meeting has been called with stakeholders on Sunday to finalize the date to open advance booking for the festive season. However, public vehicle operators are not very interested in opening advance booking for the festive season as the passenger flow is very low this year.
With an aim to prevent the COVID-19 infection from spreading in the country the government had halted all kinds of vehicle operations from March 24. Long-distance vehicles were allowed to resume services only from September 17 with an agreement that they would carry only 50 percent passengers and charge double the normal ticket prices.
However, as the number of passengers is very low the vehicle operators have been urging the government to allow them to carry 100 percent passengers and charge passengers the regular ticket fare.
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