If you possess a vehicle in Nepal people see it as one of the standard measure of success. People who don’t have any means of transport aspire for bicycles and motorbikes while those with motorbikes dream of owning cars. Besides this, vehicle has become the social prestige too. One question may arise that how relevant is it to give emphasis to private vehicles when entire country still lacks a proper public transport system. If we look at capital and its major cities, we can see large number of private vehicles and day by day, it is increasing too. Amidst this, public transport system have pitiful plight. Public transports are the easiest means of transport for the common people. Due to low cost it is affordable and relevant for common people. In Nepal government has operated a Sajha Yatayat and Trolley bus was established through Chinese assistance. Though it got tremendous response from the people, it can’t operate longer. After shut down of this transport, a couple of attempts has been made to resume this service. However, if everything goes on well Sajha Yatayat is going to resume its service by Mid February.
Nepal transporters have also been raising the fares periodically and for this not only the price of petroleum products are to be blamed. The syndicate system that is in force does not permit for the charging of fair fares that should be determined scientifically. This has also made the transport sector inefficient. Supreme Court of Nepal has imposed the ban to any form of syndicate in the transport sector in practice this has not been implemented. There is a syndicate in this sector, which allows the transporters a monopoly as regards freight costs and public vehicle fares. The transporters are taking this as a grant and the law is doing nothing about it, but merely allowing this unethical practice that has been outlawed. This is injustice to the people and the traders. Equally worrisome is that such a syndicate run transport system leaves transport fares highly volatile. In such condition, people are forced to think that they are living in a country where no government prevails.
Public transport is mainly for the low standard and mid standard people who rely on it for their daily means of transport. Likewise, students depend on public transport too. If manage it properly and run regularly, it is one of the easiest and cheapest means of transport. Nowadays public transport is more of a business from which the owners can make hefty profit more than a public service run at nominal cost. Nepal Government has done little to make transport fare affordable to all sections of society. Similarly, government is not taking public transport issues seriously for the elderly, disabled and the young. The need for a government-run and regulated transportation system is evident. Perhaps that would also go some way towards assuring female passengers, who are routinely harassed in public vehicles, that the government takes their safety seriously. Relying on taxis is a luxury that only a select few can afford, and even then, the safety of passengers is not guaranteed. It is high time the government created an alternative solution that could guarantee quality transport to people at a low cost. Good governance, strict rules and regulations is must to give continuity for the public transport of Nepal. Likewise, private sectors and stakeholders must awake and contribute themselves to make public transport system cheapest and safest mode of transport.