Kathmandu, February 13
Kathmandu Metropolitan City plans to operate night bus service within the metropolis. If everything goes as planned, KMC will launch night bus service by Nepali New Year in mid-April.
This is not the first time KMC has floated the plan. Last year, KMC promised to operate night bus service within Kathmandu. That was the third promise made since August 2012, when KMC signed a pact with transport entrepreneurs to operate night bus service from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm.
Despite its failure to operate the service in the past, KMC yesterday called a meeting of stakeholders to hold discussion to operate night bus service.
The meeting lead by KMC Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya concluded to launch the service in a bid to increase work hours and promote night life in the city.
Mayor Shakya said, “Although it is not an easy task, the metropolis is ready to provide some kind of supports for public buses and taxis that operate at night to increase business hours in core city areas.” Mayor Shakya said the service will be provided from 8:00pm to 11:00pm.
Hari Bahadur Kunwar, In-charge at the Department of Urban Good Governance, KMC said the local body has reviewed its past attempts to run the service and will try to address the difficult issues this time. “We will encourage restaurant entrepreneurs to establish quality eateries around bus stops, ensure enough street lights, place more CCTV cameras and enhance security mechanism.” Kunwar said they will also install CCTV cameras inside public vehicles that operate at night.
Night buses and taxis will be required to operate even when the number of passengers is low. Gogan Bahadur Hamal, director general at Department of Transport Management said since more workers return home early evening, the government should create an environment where people like to spend longer hours at work or hang out with friends after work at night.
The Kathmandu District Administration Office and Metropolitan Traffic Police Range have pledged their support to the programme.
A version of this article appears in print on February 14, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.