ECONOMYNEXT – Losses at the state-owned Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) reduced in 2016 to Rs. 1.1 billion from an operating loss of Rs. 4.7 billion in 2015 as it raised passenger fares and increased revenue, the Central Bank said.
“The financial performance of the SLTB improved moderately during 2016,” the bank said in its annual report.
SLTB’S total revenue rose 14.2 per cent to Rs. 40.9 billion in 2016 from the previous year while operating expenditure increased by 3.6 per cent to Rs. 42.0 billion.
Passenger fares, which account for about 65.6 per cent of the total revenue, increased 7.4 per cent in 2016 from the year before. From August 2016 the minimum bus fare was increased from Rs. 8.00 to Rs. 9.00.
The central bank said several measures were undertaken to enhance the efficiency of state owned bus services in 2016.
But it noted that “substantial reforms within both the public and private bus transportation sectors are necessary to provide a cost effective, reliable and safe transport mode for the general public.”
Some of the efficiency measures include use of electronic ticket machines.
The SLTB bought 3,800 new machines during 2016 raising the total number of machines available to 7,500 machines.
With the introduction of new bus trips and the resumption of bus trips that were stopped previously, the average number of buses operated per day by the SLTB improved to 5,315 in 2016 as compared to 5,284 operated in 2015.
The total operated kilometres of the SLTB rose 2.5 percent to 451.5 million km in 2016 from the previous year, while total passenger kilometrage increased by 6.1 per cent to 16.1 billion km.
(COLOMBO, May 09, 2017)