Japan to boost Yangon’s circular train sector

Japan will play a significant role in aiding the Myanmar government’s efforts at improving its circular train sector, which is essential to Yangon’s future transportation and the potential easing of traffic congestion.

The population of Yangon is nearly six million people, but more than 100,000 people (about three per cent of the population) rely on the circular trains for their daily transportation needs, according to statistics released by Myanmar Railways.

As Yangon is estimated to grow as a mega city with the population of over 10 million by 2040, it is estimated that 30 per cent of the population will depend on the rail system, according the ‘Maha-Strategic Scheme for Maha-Yangon City Development’.

It is hoped that with Japan’s assistance, about three million people in Yangon will be able to ride the circular trains daily within 20 year’s time, according to the Ministry of Rail Transportation.

The comprehensive ‘Maha-Strategic Project for Maha-Yangon City Development’ includes repair work on circular train tracks and the extension of five new railway lines before 2040.
Currently, in Yangon, there are 21 circular trains in operation, leaving the station every five minute to complete 200 rounds per day. The railway tracks are 148.3 kilometres in combined length, and pass through some 80 stations. By 2040, it will have eight railway lines with a length of 350 kilometres, including five new lines.

In Yangon’s public transportation system, 85 per cent consists of bus transportation, which is problematic in that buses are often over-crowded, out-of-date and passengers have to wait longer at bus stops, according to a study by JICA for the ‘Maha-Strategic Project for Maha-Yangon City Development’.

Compared to bus fares, train fares are relatively lower, but the latter have been raised slightly because of worsening road traffic, according to Dr. Kyaw Latt, an expert on the city project.

“In Yangon, train riders are very few. Besides, the density of important offices and buildings are in the downtown aCBD, and 66 per cent of transportation system is heading to the CBD. Therefore, the density of downtown Yangon is very high,” said Dr. Kyaw Latt at a meeting on the ‘Maha-Strategic Project for Maha-Yangon City Development’.

Source: Eleven Media

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