As things are, you can’t just put a passenger bus into service in Sri Lanka, even if you get permission from the government — you have to deal with the private bus cartel. If you don’t go through them and agree to their conditions, you’ll be intimidated, harassed and put out of business.
It’s the government’s job to crackdown on such cartels and protect newcomers into the industry. Break this cartel and threaten any intimidators with legal action, and Sri Lanka’s public transport system stands to improve — through free market dynamics. Who knows, we may even have innovative private bus companies that are more organized that present day private bus operators.
Today, there are more passengers than buses can carry. Anybody who has ever used public transport in Sri Lanka to get to work or school knows this. Whenever demand exceeds supply, there is some force stifling the free market. In this case, it’s the private bus cartel and government regulation.