By SU MYAT MON | FRONTIER
YANGON — Water taxi services will be rolled out in Yangon by the third week of June, the head of the company who successfully tendered for the first route said Friday.
At least 16 boats, each able to accommodate between 60 and 200 people, will commence the eight-stop route connecting Hlaing Tharyar and Bohtahtaung townships from next month.
The 500-kyat service will run between 6am and 6:30pm each day, with boats to visit each stop at 20 minute intervals. Tickets will cost a maximum of 500 kyats.
Tint Tint Myanmar Company president Daw Tint Tint Lwin said her staff of 200 were nearly ready to begin operations, with more services planned if customer demand matched forecasts.
“If water taxi transportation is in need, we are ready to expand it larger,” she told reporters at a Friday press conference.
Around 2 million residents of Yangon live close to the city’s major rivers. As part of its efforts to reduce traffic congestion in the commercial capital, the regional government has forecast 12 million passenger trips on water taxi services annually by next year. Two more routes will come online by the end of 2017.
Vessels used on the water taxi routes will be subject to strict regulations, including the use of CCTV to monitor and prevent overcrowding.
A similar water taxi scheme was trialled by the previous regional government, but failed due to low customer demand.