The Irrawaddy

Yangon Water Buses Launch on Friday

YANGON — Yangon’s commuters will now have the option to take water buses on the city’s rivers starting Friday.

After some delay, Tint Tint Myanmar company, which won a tender to provide water bus services in February, announced that the company would begin operating its fleet on Friday at 7 a.m. at Botahtaung jetty.

The service was previously planned to launch in late June.

The company’s chairwoman Daw Tint Tint Lwin told the media at a press conference in June that she was confident the initiative to ferry passengers along the city’s waterways would succeed.

About 16 boats will connect Hlaing Tharyar and Botahtaung townships with eight stops under the first phase of the project which targets about 20,000 commuters. Two routes along Nga Moe Yeik Creek and Thanlyin Township will follow, she said at the press conference.

The water taxis will run every 20 minutes from 6 a.m. to about 6.30 p.m., with tickets from 300-500 kyats, according to the chairwoman.

Some 56 to 67 boats are expected to service the full operation, which aims to serve an annual 12 million commuters this year and a projected 24 million by 2020, she added.

Last week, Yangon chief minister U Phyo Min Thein and officials from Yangon Region Transport Authority tested the water bus before its launch.

The initiative falls under the regional government’s plans to upgrade public transport services to relieve worsening traffic jams in the former capital and commercial hub, following the new bus system that launched in January.