COLOMBO, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka on Tuesday said it had begun a feasibility study on building a Light Rail Transit (LRT) system in the capital Colombo with expressions of interest and request for proposals to be called by year-end.
A local media report quoting Dimantha De Silva, Senior Lecturer at the University of Moratuwa and a Megapolis transport planner, said that an LRT system was needed to cater to anticipated transport demand in the planned Western Province Megapolis region.
"We need to provide a sustainable solution for transport for the next 20 years, not for five years," he said.
"We cannot build it and take it out. By 2035, our forecast is 30,000 passengers per hour per direction in some transport corridors in the Colombo Metropolitan Region (CMR)."
The LRT project will initially consist of two lines of 25 km connecting Colombo with the Malabe suburb, a road corridor now the most congested in the CMR, the media report said.
LRT was proposed as it has a capacity of 30,000 passengers per hour per direction and covers the distance in 25 minutes as opposed to one and a half hours by road currently and would not conflict with other modes of transport, De Silva said.
Planners have forecast that by 2035 the number of passengers in the main transport corridors with the CMR would rise from 1.9 million to 4.5 million.