Sleeper bus routes will soon be available to more provinces

By M.Zoljargal

Ulaanbaatar introduced sleeper buses to its long-distance transportation service to Khuvsgul Province in early June, as part of reform bringing upgrades to the sector and plans for sleeper bus routes to be made available to more provinces.

Based on the improvements and convenience the sleeper bus service offers long-distance travelers to Khuvsgul, the National Auto Transportation Center (NATC) has decided to extend the service very soon.

The following is a brief interview with J.Enkhbat, chief of the Transportation Division at NATC, regarding the decision and preparations for the additional routes.

The most notable recent upgrade to Mongolia’s long-distance passenger transportation has been the introduction of sleeper buses. How is the plan going for running sleeper buses to other provinces?

In the first stage, we ran the sleeper buses between Murun (the capital soum of Khuvsgul Province) and Ulaanbaatar. Now, we are preparing to start transporting passengers in sleeper buses along a Ulaanbaatar-Govisumber Province-Sainshand (capital of Dornogovi Province)-Erenhot (Inner Mongolia) route. Another planned route will be a direct one between Erenhot and Ulaanbaatar.

Our goal is to use the sleeper buses in long distance transportation service to each of the 21 provinces. We are encouraged, as our two month trial of the Murun-Ulaanbaatar route was proven effective, and we haven’t received any complaints so far. Residents of Uvurkhangai, Bayankhongor, and Govi-Altai have requested running sleeper buses to their provinces. We are in talks with the sleeper bus operators regarding these requests.

Does that mean the roads and traffic conditions to each of the 21 provinces are ready for the sleeper bus?

The “Government for Solutions” promised to link Ulaanbaatar to the 21 provinces by paved roads under its action plan. Once the roads are all paved, each one of the provinces will be able to take advantage of the sleeper bus service.

What are the other projects completed within the recent reforms?

Another highlight of reform in the transportation sector was definitely the launch of an online ticketing system for long-distance bus services. Passengers can now order their tickets for travelling between the capital and provinces through the Internet, at anytime from anywhere. We aimed to bring about public services more convenient for passengers to save their time and money. Before, the only way to pre-order or buy tickets was in-person at Dragon Bus Terminal.

Passengers have become familiar with the online ticketing and an average of 100 people order their tickets online per day, according to our registration officers. We have received a number of appreciations for the online ticketing system and we plan to keep it going for as long as it stays helpful.

It’s been a while since the NATC set up GPS tracking devices in long-distance buses. Has this program been beneficial?

We equipped 830 buses with GPS trackers to monitor their location, safety, and drivers, and to  reduce traffic accidents. We have noticed a decline in traffic accidents on provincial roads for buses equipped with the device. 

Long-distance bus drivers are prohibited from exceeding the speed limit of 70 kilometers per hour. How strictly is this regulation followed and what are the consequences for those who violate it?

The NATC cited 17 long-distance bus drivers who had repeatedly violated traffic regulations. They were banned from driving for terms of six months to two years in 2014. About 100 drivers who exceeded the given speed limit while on long-distance routes have been charged with one to six month driving bans since last year.

Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=15494

Posted by on Jul 28 2015. Filed under Domestic. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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