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Research Articles

Diagnostics of Operational Performance of the SLTB: Causal Factors and Insights for Further Improvement

Authors:

T. L. Gunaruwan ,

University of Colombo, LK
About T. L.
Department of Economics
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D. M. T. N. Herath

University of Colombo, LK
About D. M. T. N.
Department of Economics
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Abstract

Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB), the State-owned public bus transport provider in Sri Lanka has recorded improved financial performance during the post-2015 period, and earned net financial surplus in 2017, a rare occurrence for the persistently loss-making state-owned enterprise. This apparent performance turn-around was the seed for the present study which attempted to identify causal factors behind this improvement, its sustainability, and to assess the scope for further improvement. The study used data in the published Reports of SLTB (2009-2017) and deployed analytical techniques such as descriptive statistics and regression analysis. Results revealed that the perceived performance improvement has been driven mainly by augmented revenues earned through increased average fare per kilometre and by the reduced fixed costs owing to the implementation of a Volunteer Retirement Scheme (VRS), both are attributable to government policy initiatives more than to any managerial decisions or operational improvements. The fuel cost management, and maintaining load factors over the years, have not been satisfactory, questioning the sustainability of the reported financial performance improvement. The outcome of the study thus calls for closer attention on improving technical and operational aspects of the SLTB.
How to Cite: Gunaruwan, T.L. and Herath, D.M.T.N., 2020. Diagnostics of Operational Performance of the SLTB: Causal Factors and Insights for Further Improvement. Sri Lanka Journal of Economic Research, 8(1), pp.53–78. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljer.v8i1.124
Published on 31 Dec 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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