The plan with short, medium and long term solutions will ease traffic congestion in the Colombo city as the number of vehicles entering the city has increased over the last 30 years to nearly 300,000 per day, while the number of people entering the city has got saturated.
Addressing the media at the Internal Transport Ministry yesterday, Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara said the project was in the planing stage for 20 years.
"We hope to implement it soon," he said.
He said the majority of the people in developed countries use public transport systems. In Sri Lanka, the use of public transport has come down to 52 percent. The master plan will help provide solutions to public transport issues and the problems faced by motorists and the public when visiting the commercial capital, he said.
Seven transport corridors; Galle road, Horana road, High Level road, Malabe road, Low Level road, Kandy road and Negombo road have been identified as important corridors to provide solutions considering the transport volume, urbanisation level, population density and the transport network function, he said.
"This plan has provided solutions for each corridor by suggesting the improvement of the existing transport systems and introducing new modes of transport which are available in developed countries", the minister said. Prof. Amal Kumarage said the plan has been accepted as a timely intervention to modernize the transport system in Colombo. The cost of the CMR would be Rs.1720 billion. The investment spreads across all modes of transport with buses and BRT (the Bus Rapid Transit system) getting 12 percent, railway -33 percent, monorail -17 percent and roads- 23 percent. The introduction of BRT system has been identified as a solution to the Galle road traffic congestion during peak hours.
"However, the implementation of the BRT requires basic infrastructure, sometimes, exclusive lanes for the buses and specialised buses and other facilities", he said.
Many cities across the world have introduced the BRT system as a solution to provide easy access to city centres overcoming congested roads," he said. The implementation of such service within the Colombo city will encourage the public to use public transport modes against using private vehicles to enter the city.
A project on electric trains will start to ease the congestion during peak hours between Panadura and Veyangoda. The introduction of monorail or sky train as a solution to the heavily congested Malabe corridor are also in the plan, Kumarage said.