Public Seminar: Harsha De Silva, Lead Economist, LIRNEasia to speak on Mobile Payments in Public Transport in Sri Lanka

Posted by on June 20, 2010  /  2 Comments

The Private Bus Operators Association of Sri Lanka has proposed to introduce a service for sale and purchase of bus tickets via mobile phones and/or customized electronic cards. These e-reload passes are readable by the existing GPRS-enabled ticket machines. The current plan is that passes will be in the form of physical re-load cards or mobile phone enabled mechanisms. If mobile phone -enabled, then a whole new window of opportunity emerges for transactions; this could become the most widely used, full mobile 2.0 (transaction-capable) application.

Given that public transport is a several-times-a-day need for the majority of the BOP in Sri Lanka and elsewhere in the region, a study is undertaken to bring to the discussion table the multi-faceted issues that need to be considered prior to implementing the proposed service. It is expected that such a discussion among the stakeholders would lead towards considered decisions that would help avoid the pitfalls and facilitate the success of the proposed Mobile2.0@BOP service.

Harsha De Silva, PhD, Lead Economist LIRNEasia, the lead researcher of this project will speak on these issues at the forum jointly organized by LIRNEasia and Pathfinder Foundation on June 23, 2010 at Sri Lanka Foundation Institute at 4.00- 5.30 pm. A panel discussion with the following panelists will follow.

Amal Kumarage, PhD, Professor, University of Moratuwa
D. S Jayaweera, PhD, Director General, Development Finance, Ministry of Finance
Chandrasiri Weerasekera, Director, Quality Assurance and External Relations, National Transport Commission
Gemunu Wijeratne, President, Lanka Private Bus Owners Association

The event will be chaired by Lalithasiri Gunaruwan, PhD, Secretary, Ministry of Transport

Medium: Sinhala/English

This event is open to public, but due to the limited availability of seats prior registration is mandatory. Please contact Ranjula on 0777-458808 or

The following related material are available for download:

Full Paper: The need for an efficient bus and train ticket sale‐and‐purchase system in Sri Lanka: Possibilities for a Mobile2.0 solution

Policy Brief in English

Policy brief in Sinhala


  1. Quite interesting to see the update on this post. I wonder how did the e-reload passes implementation go? What were the challenges and successes of this program. Thanks.

  2. Just like Susan, I also find this interesting. I also want to know the result after a year of implementation. Cause if this works, it would be great for other countries like Philippines to have this kind of program. :)