YRTA to hold regular press conferences

yrta-1 Aung Khant and Zarni Phyo/The Myanmar Times

14 May 19 - Source: Myanmar Times - The Yangon Region Transport Authority (YRTA) will hold press conferences twice a month, the authority's joint secretary U Hla Aung said on May 11.

Formerly known as "Ma Hta Tha", the YRTA is responsible for public transportation in the city. It plans to use press conferences to make important announcements and answer questions from the media.

In the past the YRTA had come under fire from the press, which it claims is due to misunderstandings.

"In the past we could not present details about our implementation strategies to the media, as incorrect information was often circulated. Now YRTA is nearly three years old, we will endeavour to fix our weaknesses and help spread correct information.

"This involves better cooperation with the media, updating and sharing information on our policies," U Hla Aung said.

The new government recently pledged to improve transportation in Yangon.

Like its predecessor Ma Hta Tha, YRTA overseas a range of different transportation matters such as the Yangon Bus Service and licensing of city taxies. The authority is also tasked with managing school buses, water transportation and the future upgrade of the circular train system.

"We are cooperating with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Asia Development Bank (ADB) to improve transportation in the city," U Hla Aung recently told Metro.

"We aim to build a better relationship with the media, and consult with high-level officials if we need more information on detailed policy issues," U Hla Aung said, adding that hopefully this will lead to a more harmonious relationship with the media, and a more informed public. There are currently around 4000 buses running in Yangon under the YRTA. The authority hopes to implement a new card payment system later this year, which may help the bus service save money.

"In April we signed a contract with a private company to implement the card system. The company said the prepaid system will be ready in six to nine months. The technology is currently being prepared for rollout," secretary U Maung Aung told Metro.

The YRTA will hold their first press conference tomorrow, May 15.

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