Friday, April 29, 2005

Public Transportation

A lot of things are happening.
1.D Sivaram was killed
2.Central Bank is going to release 2004 annual report saying Sri Lanka reached per capita GDP of 1000 USD in 2004 (before Tsunami) which makes Sri Lanka a middle income country.
3.Deadly bus accident in Allawwa

I'm just going to focus on No. 3.
I know I will take lot of heat from my dad and uncles( if they know I'm writing this )but J.R.Jayawardena did a lot of things right!Like I mentioned in WFB post , If I'm honest I should be able to see what is wrong with my ideas ,too.
Since JR was human ,he made lot of mistakes.To me the top 3 blunders he made are,
1.Let the July 1983 anti-Tamil pogram happen due to his inaction or secret involvement.
2.Pure Propotional system introduced in 1978 constitution which made some parliament seats member-less,created inter-party and intra -party fights and gave oxygen to a dying old system of caste/ethnicity based politics.
3.Privatizing Bus service .

I'm writing this as a citizen who had to depend on Sri Lankan transportation system.
I'm a free-market beliver.When it come to public trasnportation it seems that there should always be government regulation and involvement!
In US the public transportation is irrelevant except couple of major cities .In the city I'm in ,the public rail /bus system is handled by a public company with lot of local governtment money invloved .Also heard that Greyhound is cutting down some routes which are unprofitable.Also Amtrak is in trouble according to the reports.
I don't know how Europe ,Japan and China handles this.India is as crazy as Sri Lanka but atleast they have a pretty good rail system.I found this about british rail.
I know our private bus/SLTB/Railway system is a crazy mix.Don't know whether anywhere in the world they have anything close to our private bus culture which kills people in-search of 10 rupees more.
What would be the best solution for Sri Lanka?(May be one of the three people who reads this might have an idea!)
Amal Kumarage is thinking about a franchise system for private bus operators.


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