Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Rangoon bus drivers, conductors dismissed

Wednesday, 01 August 2012 12:33 Yadanar Oo

Rangoon (Mizzima) – Bad bus driving and service to passengers doesn’t pay, according to the Rangoon Region Supervisory Committee for Motor Vehicles. It recently let nearly 100 bus drivers and conductors with poor service records.

Up to 100 bus drivers and conductors were dismissed recently. Most of the drivers were let go for leaving the scene after a collision or other violations. Attendants were dismissed because of passenger complaints or other infractions, according to Ba Myint, an official of Rangoon Region Central.

On any given day, at least 5,000 buses are driving the streets of Rangoon. Photo: Mizzima

Until recently, there were no incidents in which a bus employee was sacked because of passenger complaints. The bus drivers who were dismissed outnumber the bus conductors.

For the first six months of this year, there were 50 bus accidents in the central district; the western district had more than 20 accidents and Bandoola (Parami) had about 20.

Seventy-six of the dismissed employees are from the Bandoola (Parami) bus service and 9 are from the northern district bus service.

Buses account for a large number of vehicle accidents in Rangoon.

Last week, Mizzima reported that 67 people were killed and 456 injured in vehicle accidents in the first half of the year in Rangoon.

A total of 143 vehicle accidents were reported from January to mid-July, officials said.

Bus drives are a major factor in accidents, because they drive recklessly even during rush hours while trying to overtake other buses to get more passengers, officials said.

“Most of the time, the drivers flee from the scene when they get in an accident,” said one official.

Some bus companies are giving weekly traffic-rule and safety training to their employees that also cover first aid, in addition to instructions for them not to flee from an accident.

Under the current system, many bus drivers and conductors are paid on the basis of the number of trips they complete. Observers said the system should be changed to reward responsible, safe driving.

Seventeen bus companies serve Rangoon with up to 8,000 buses. It’s estimated that about 5,000 buses run regular routes on a daily basis.

City bus service ends about 8 p.m. after which passengers have to rely on privately run or unauthorized buses.

A breakdown of dismissed workers of bus services:

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