By A Staff Reporter Kathmandu, Sept. 28: The government has opened advance booking of bus tickets targeting the passengers who go home to mark Dashain. Advance ticket booking has opened from Monday to facilitate the people living in the capital go home during the festival. According to Information Officer of the Department of Transport Management Dr. Lok Nath Bhusal, advance ticket booking for the long-distance vehicles has been opened from today after holding discussions with transport operators, consumer rights activists and traffic police.
He said that the Metropolitan Traffic Police has set up passenger help desks in 14 places in the capital targeting the festival. He said that it would inform about the fare of various destinations and assist the passengers to reach their destinations easily.
Ticket counters have also been added for advance ticket booking at the new bus park in Gongabu. According to the Department, 11 counters have been added in Gongabu. Now the number of ticket counters in Gongabu has reached 32. Bhusal said that arrangements have been made for booking tickets through online as well. However, the facility has been available only for a few destinations, including Pokhara.
Stating that the transportation fare has not increased, he asked the passengers to take ticket from the fixed ticket counters instead of middlemen as the middlemen would be active to sell tickets in black. He said that the arrangement was adopted to end the tendency of middlemen selling ticket in black to the passengers. General Secretary of the Federation of Nepalese Central Transport Entrepreneurs Saroj Sitaula informed that arrangements have been made to provide bus tickets to the passengers through computer system from the counters.
He said that the number of passengers coming to book tickets in advance has declined this year like last year. Looking at the first day’s scenario, the flow of people for advance ticket is only 15-20 per cent compared to the previous years, he said. However, the flow of people might increase in the coming days, he added.
"The number of people coming to buy tickets in advance this year may have decreased compared to earlier years due to COVID-19 infection and road conditions," he said. The Department has estimated that about 1.2 million people will leave Kathmandu Valley this year for Dashain while about 2.2 million people used to leave Kathmandu in Dashain in normal times. He urged the passengers to check the destination, date and time of departure after taking the ticket.
Sitaula said that transport operators are adding more buses considering the pressure of passengers. Apart from the new bus park, advance ticket booking has also been started from Chabahil, Gaushala, Koteshwor, Sundhara and Kalanki.