Public transport to re-operate at full capacity

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The National Covid-19 Task Force has issued a notification on the resumption of public transport at full capacity.

However, the notice states that public transport can operate at full capacities only as per the SOP in line with the health and safety protocols for the prevention of COVID-19 transmission.

Assistant Transport Officer at the Royal Safety and Transport Authority, Tashi Gyeltshen said that as per National Covid-19 Task Force directives, the normal capacity for public transport has been resumed.  “However, travelers are still being registered even after this notification.”

“The registration of travelers using Check Post Management System is still in place to ensure contact tracing during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.

Commenting on the fare revision proposal put forward by taxi drivers, he said initially when the taxi drivers were allowed to carry 50% of passengers, the taxi drivers requested verbally for fare revision but there was no official proposal put forward and now the taxi drivers are allowed to carry the optimal number of passengers.

A taxi driver, Tshering Tobden said, “For us, it is not worrisome as we will be earning the amount that we used to earn before COVID-19 struck but due to more number of passengers risk is involved so people should be more cautious and follow the safety protocols seriously.”

He said it is acceptable to travel closely with family members but a public transport brings many people from different places together so all the drivers including passengers should be mindful of following the safety protocols properly.

Ugyen, a passenger who travels daily in a taxi said, “I travel in taxi daily and I was affected when the country witnessed the COVID pandemic. It was safer when taxis were allowed to carry two passengers instead of four as it reduces the risk of transmission of the disease.”

“Now it is in the hand of every individual to follow the COVID safety protocols safely,” he added, “People should avoid traveling unnecessarily and travel only in an emergency.”

Another taxi driver, Sangay said it was hard to earn and feed the family after the pandemic but now that the carrying capacity is back to normal, he is happy.

“But please keep safe everybody.”

Sonam Tashi from Thimphu

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