Transport sector of Bangladesh is enriched with variety of modes. Being almost a plain country, all three modes of surface transport road, railway and water are widely.
There has been a dramatic expansion of road network all over the country in recent years. In 1947 there were only 461.8 kilometers of metalled roads. In 1997, the total length of paved road under the Roads and Highways Department stood at more than 20,000 kilometers. The road transport carries about 70% of the country’s total passenger and cargo. Bangladesh is a riverine country. So in past days, main transportation was through water. But in recent years, Construction of a number of important bridges over the mighty rivers such as the Bangabandhu Jamuna Bridge, Meghna Bridge. Meghna-Gumti Bridge, Bangladesh-China Friendship Bridge, Shambhuganj Bridge and Mahananda Bridge have been completed. The 4.8 km long Bangabandhu Bridge is the eleventh longest in the world over the Jamuna River. It has established a strategic link between the East and the West of Bangladesh. Especially north Bengal is now strongly connected with the main stream of the country. It is faci1itating transmission of electricity, natural gas and the telecommunication links.The Rates of Road transport in Bangladesh is one of the cheapest in the world.
The Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) also maintains a countrywide network of bus services, Dhaka – Calcutta – Dhaka direct daily bus services via Benapole, Jessore.
Total: 2,745 km
Broad gauge: 923 km 1.676-m gauge
Narrow gauge: 1,822 km 1.000-m gauge (1998 est.)
32% of the total area of Bangladesh is covered by the railways effectively. Bangladesh Railway is a state owned service and it operates a track of 2706 kilometer and provides passenger and cargo services through 502 stations all over the country. It provides an efficient service to places of interest like Chittagong, Sylhet, Khulna, Mymensingh, Bogra, Rajshahi, Dinajpur from Dhaka. The inter-city Express Service is available within the important cities at economical fares.
About two-thirds of Bangladesh has a dense network of rivers, canals and creeks. Water transport is the only way in nearly 10% of the country. The waterways vary from 8372 kilometer during the monsoon to 5200 kilometer during the dry season. State-owned BIWTC provide passenger and cargo services in waterways within the main land and coastal areas of the country.
There are two major sea ports in Bangladesh. Chittagong, the oldest port( at least 1000 years) and The Mongla port in Khulna region. The country has also communication between the mainland and islands by waterways. Saint Martin has communication by sea track, troller etc.
Because of Bangladesh’s many rivers, ferries are a major form of transportation. These ferries carry people and cargo.
Many types of traditional country made boats are also used for transportation. The landscape of Bangladesh is dominated by about 250 rivers and so these carry passengers and merchandise on a large scale. Journey by Steamer from Dhaka (Sadarghat) to Khulna Sundarbans will be a rocky experience.
Bangladesh can be reached by air from any part of the world. The national flag carrier Biman of Bangladesh flies to 26 international and 8 domestic destinations. Biman Bangladesh airlines connected Dhaka with 27 major cities of the world. They are- London, Muscat, Dhahran, Baghdad, Kuwait, Yangoon, Bangkok, Mumbai, Calcutta, Doha, Dubai, Jeddah, Karachi, Kathmandu, Kualalumpur, Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Athens, Rome, Tripoli, Tokyo, Singapore, Baharin, Frankfurt, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Sarjah, Seoul, Riyadh and Delhi. Biman, Bangladesh Airlines also connected Dhaka with major cities of Bangladesh, Chittagong, Jessore, Cox’s Bazar, Rajshahi Saidpur and Sylhet in its 7 domestic routes.
There are total 11 airports in Bangladesh. These are Dhaka, Barisal, Chittagomig. Comilla, Cox’ s Bazar, Ishurdi, Jessore, Rajshahi, Syedpur, Sylhet and Thakurgaon. The airports at Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet are international.
Besides Biman, Air careo and Short Take-off and Landing (STOL) services have been opened to the private sector by the government.
Biman, Bangladesh Airlines, Ph: 9560151-9; Enquiry & Reservations
Trans World Airlines Inc.: Ph: 880… , 9552208
Air France: Ph: 880… , 9563050, 9551338,
Japan Airlines: Ph: 880… , 9129710
Indian Airlines: Ph: 880… , 9557813, 8912205(Airport)
Kuwait Airways: Ph: 880… , 9118829(City) 8914215(Airport)
British Airways: Ph: 880-2-9564869-72, 8914410, 8912467(Airport)
Lufthansa: Ph: 880-2-8618995 , 8611191
Myanmar Airlines International: Ph: 880-2-8810579-80
United Airlines: Ph: 880-2-9556538-9, 9556505, 9567379
Cathay Pacific: Ph: 880-2-9559390 , 9559721, 9557117
Pan Am: Ph: 880-2-9554369
Gulf Air: Ph: 880-2-8113237-40
PIA: Ph: 880-2-8312985 , 8823023
Singapore Airlines: Ph: 880-2-8828769 , 8828774, 8811504-8
Emirates: Ph: 880-2-9563825-29, 9563830
Swiss Air: Ph: 880-2-8821908 , 8822376
Korean Air: Ph: 880-2-9563817-9
Saudia Ph: 880-2-8116859-60,(City) 8914436, 8914341(Airport)
Malayasian Airlines: Ph: 880-2-9885479 , 9885480
Thai International: Ph: 880-2-8314711-9, 8914351(Airport)
Qatar Airways, Ph: 880-2-9563050 , 9564945
Royal Nepal Airlines: Ph: 880-2-9550423 , 9559353
Qantas: Ph: 880-2-9886634-7
KLM: Ph: 880-2-8113005 , 9116519
Philippines Airlines: Ph:880-2-411488
Air litalia: Ph: 880-2-9551673
Continental Airlines: Ph:880-2-9565386-1,
Car Rental :
Private car hire service is available in Dhaka and all other towns in Bangladesh. Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation( State owned tourism industry) has started a service of air-conditioned and non air-conditioned cars, microbuses and jeeps. They offer transfer service for tourists between Dhaka airport and main city points or hotels.
Palanquin, dool, horse carriage, bullock cart, tomtom etc are traditional transports of Bangladesh. These transports are nearly extinct for normal use now. Now paalkee/ Palanquin (sedans), tomtom (horse carriages) and gorur gaari (bullock carts) are used fashionably in marriage, New Year celebration and many other celebrations. In some village areas they are also used till now.
Cycle Rickshaw is the mostly used local transport of Bangladesh. It is a very interesting transport. Bicycle, petrol auto bikes (tricycle), cycle van are also common in both urban and rural areas. The Nochhimon and Korimon, locally made mechanical hauler using irrigation pumps as main engine, are mainly used for transporting agricultural goods and rural folks.