The Cabinet has approved the proposal by the Megapolis Project to introduce a Light Rail Transit (LRT) system for mass transit in the Western Province. While the long term plan developed by the Megapolis team includes an LRT network of approximately 75kms. The initial investment is to cover around 25kms, connecting Fort, Kollupitiya, Bambalapitiya, Borella, Maradana, Rajagiriya, Battaranmlla and Malabe.
The LRT system is also expected to interconnect with the rail and bus networks to provide part of an integrated solution. The government will looking for financing from Japan for the LRT. The Megapolis transport strategy places a sharp focus on improvement of mass transit. The overall plan includes introduction of a light rail system, electrification of railways, modernisation of the bus transportation system as well as an introduction of canal transport. It also includes the implementation of some immediate measures such as introduction of CCTV monitoring to strengthen enforcement, introduction of staggered working hours, synchronisation of traffic.
Light rail, also referred to as light metro, is a proven I technology used in many countries as the preferred mode of mass transit. It forms the backbone of transport networks in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, New Delhi, Calgary, Gold Coast, Dallas, Los Angeles and many other major cities worldwide.