The Dhaka Elevated Expressway, a long-anticipated infrastructure project, commenced operation on Sunday, heralding a new era in Dhaka’s transportation landscape.
In its inaugural 24 hours, a remarkable 22,805 vehicles traversed the Airport-Farmgate segment, yielding an impressive 1,852,880Tk (1.85 million) in toll revenue, according to AHM Shakhawat Akter, the project director.
Of these vehicles, 11,723 headed southward, including 9,598 commuting from the Airport to Kamal Ataturk Avenue, Mohakhali, and Farmgate, along with 2,125 from Kuril to Kamal Ataturk, Mohakhali, and Farmgate. Conversely, 6,149 northbound vehicles crossed the expressway, with 2,212 originating from Banani and 3,937 from Tejgaon.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) announced plans to deploy 79 buses on the newly inaugurated expressway.
The opening of the Dhaka Elevated Expressway on Sunday was greeted with enthusiasm by many commuters.
Residents and travelers alike anticipated a future free from traffic congestion and lengthy commutes.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the 11.5km elevated expressway, accompanied by another 11km of ramps and link lines.
The project, costing Tk 894 billion, operates under a public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement, with the government contributing 27% as viability gap financing.
Md Monjur Hossain, executive director of the Bangladesh Bridge Authority and Secretary of the Bridges Division, expressed satisfaction with the inaugural day’s service, commending the efficient infrastructure and traffic management.
Despite minor congestion during office hours, the exit ramps remained clear for the remainder of the day. Public buses were notably absent from the expressway, with only a few office buses utilizing the route, and the number of buses remained similar on Airport road beneath the expressway.
Officials confirmed that the expressway has the capacity to accommodate 80,000 vehicles per day, with a guarantee to investors of 13,500 vehicles daily.
The Dhaka Elevated Expressway is poised to significantly transform the city’s transportation landscape.