Monday, September 25, 2017

New Aung Mingalar departure terminal to ease traffic squeeze

Muncipal authorities say a new departure terminal is needed at Aung Mingalar highway bus station to relieve crippling traffic congestion.

Busses wait at their departure gates inside Yangon’s Aung Mingalar Highway bus terminal. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing / The Myanmar TimesBusses wait at their departure gates inside Yangon’s Aung Mingalar Highway bus terminal. Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing / The Myanmar Times

Yangon City Development Committee has drawn up plans for the new terminal but these are yet to be approved. YCDC member U Khin Maung Tint said the committee hopes the incoming mayor, who will be appointed by President-elect U Htin Kyaw, will sign off on the project shortly after taking office on April 1. Once a budget has been allocated, a tender will be called, he said.

“I think [construction] will start in the coming budget year. We are still negotiating with vehicle owners. We will submit our plans … to the new mayor,” he said.

U Nyan Tun Aung, deputy head of YCDC’s Tax Department, said the poorly planned layout of the Mingaladon township terminal was creating congestion around the site.

“If there is a departure terminal, passengers don’t need to spend time looking for the gates. Now, passengers look for the gates while carrying large pieces of luggage,” he said.

Roads inside the terminal are small and are difficult to navigate for newer highway buses. “The big buses have to go to their gates to take passengers. Some roads are narrow because they were made with the size of the old Hino cars in mind and cannot be widened.”

Aung Mingalar bus station was built in 2001 and includes lodging houses, restaurants, clinics and car repair shops. An arrival terminal was constructed later.

According to figures from the YCDC Tax Department, 35,000 people pass through the terminal each day. About 2000 buses are based at Aung Mingalar, with 500 to 600 services departing each day for destinations in upper Myanmar, including Nay Pyi Taw and Mandalay.


Translation by Khine Thazin Han