Highway Express in MyanmarMyanmar Highway Express
China's Higer is dominating highway express buses
With increasing rivalry among highway operators, the emphasis is shifting more and more to improving road traffic and improving roadworthiness. In recent years, the sector has changed due to the import of more luxurious coaches and an enormous shift in travellers' expectation, say coaches. The Greater Man Group began to import Higer coaches from China six years ago to repair worn cars, said Ko Win Myo Chit, the company's chief executive officer.
Other followed, and Joyous Journey, which runs the JJ Express bus company, also put brand-new Higer busses into use. "In 2011, the federal administration amended its policies to allow the import of cars for work use. Previously, only Japan ese-Korean cars could be used, which were very costly. This change in politics has led to major changes," said Ko Win Myo Chit.
Intercity Express coach transport markets have become more competitive in 2013 and 2014, pushing some coach line operators out of service, he said. Now, the palette of coach models is much broader, with a seating for 12 to 45 persons, the qualtity is higher and the company offers specific offers to win clients.
A small fishing boat can't make a big profit," said Ko Win Myo Chit. Myanmar is the second poorest per head traffic death rate in Southeast Asia, according to a recent World Health Organization census. Goverment figures show that the number of accidents on the streets has been increasing for more than 10 years, with an annual death rate of 11.2 persons on a daily basis last year - a totalling 4,000 in all.
About 60 of the 130 Higer busses run at the gigantic central station of the Aung Mingalar Highway in Yangon. A further 70 services run on the grounds of the Dagon Ayeyar Highway, also in Yangon. The GI Group expanded its fleets by 20 Higer busses on 30 May, which serve the Yangon-Mandalay and Yangon-Muse and more.
In Myanmar, Higer has delivered around 1000 busses, among them those used in Yangon's new BRT Lite high-speed transport system.