Thimphu city will have an additional 34 buses running from Babesa to Dechencholing, connecting with the secondary routes if the budget proposal submitted to the finance ministry is approved.
Thimphu has 46 city buses today.
City Bus Service’s Operations and Maintenance Manager, Pasang Tshering, said the proposal was submitted to the finance ministry a month ago. He added that if possible, Thimphu would have 91 buses including the existing buses.
Samdrupjongkhar, Phuentsholing, and Gelephu are also expected to receive additional buses. Phuentsholing has three city buses today.
Pasang Tshering said the buses would run along the trunk-line from Babesa zero point till Dechencholing, with buses from the subsidiary roads feeding the trunk-line. “Bus would be available every five minutes at a stop. This is for wider coverage, efficient service, and reliability. This will also help in decreasing traffic congestion and vehicle emission.”
While the pilot bus service provided to the students of Yangchenphug Higher Secondary School and Lungtenzampa Middle Secondary School would continue, Thimphu Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee said that the new plans of the City Bus Service would benefit students of other schools.
The bus services for the two schools started in April 2017 to help ease the traffic congestion at Lungtenzampa. The service proved to be a success, but couldn’t be expanded to other schools due to lack of fund.
Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee said replacing Lungtenzampa Bridge with a double-decker and flyovers would also ease the traffic congestion. “This is a part of thromde’s 12th Plan activities. We are hoping it to be a double-decker bridge, one that will lead to RSTA. The current one is causing traffic jam.”
Today Thimphu thromde is also restricting roadside parking to encourage building owners to build separate parking for tenants.
Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee said that it was compulsory for a building to have a parking space for each tenant in the building. This is monitored through the occupancy certificate, which is issued by the thromde.
The certificate has to be renewed every year. “When the certificate is renewed or issued, we monitor if the building has parking space. If basements are converted into commercial areas, we won’t issue the occupancy certificate.”
An occupancy certificate is mandatory to avail basic amenities like water and electricity. The thromde could stop the services if building owners deviate from the approved drawings of the building or if owners retrofit the building, without approval, after getting the certificate.
Relocation of the Lungtenzampa fuel depot is also one of the thromde’s plans towards reducing traffic congestion.