The bus and launch counters witness a low passenger turnout and dull sales ahead of the Eid festival although advance ticket sales started on 15 April.
The transport owners observed that the vehicles are now getting one-third less passengers than in normal time, triggering losses and making them frustrated.
During a visit to the bus terminals at Gabtoli, Technical and Kalyanpur in the capital, related people blamed mismanagement on roads and bad ferry services along with severe traffic congestion for the low sales of tickets.
"The poor condition of the ferry terminals is behind low ticket sales for some Southern districts. During the Eid rush, buses have to go through immense traffic congestion waiting for hours to get on board a ferry making the total journey time 3-4 hours longer," said Eagle Paribahan counter master Joyonto Chowdhury.
He added that the journey by local bus services takes no extra time when it also saves money. So the passengers are preferring that option over the direct services.
Shyamoli Paribahan official Tapan Kumar said they were yet to feel any pressure for tickets.
"We never saw such a dull sale earlier ahead of Eid. Even during the lockdown last year, we had more pressure," he said.
He, however, expressed hope of increased pressure after the closure of the educational institutions.
A similar opinion was echoed by another bus service Hanif Paribahan counter master Lalon Mahmud.
"We have started selling advance-ticket on 15 April but the demand for tickets is very low. In the last four days, we sold only 200 tickets. Earlier, seat crisis took place during this time," he said, adding that even the number of daily trips has dropped at the moment to 7-8 trips from the previous 10-12 trips due to traffic jams and passenger shortage.
Other big transport companies including Ena Paribahan, Eagle Paribahan, and Unique Paribahan have the same experience in ticket sales.
Khandaker Enayet Ullah, secretary-general of the Bangladesh Road Transport Owners' Association (BRTOA), said the ticket demand is less although advance ticket sales started on 15 April and some bus companies started even earlier than that. But many companies are operating long haul bus services with fewer passengers incurring losses.
Enayet Ullah hoped that the number of passengers will go up with time and there will be a huge rush in the last week of Ramadan.
The situation is the same for elite services like Greenline and Shohag Paribahan.
"Advance ticket sales are very low compared to any other Eid earlier. We have the pressure of passengers only on 28 April and all the tickets of the day have been sold out," said Greenline Paribahan manager Md Safiullah, adding: there is no demand for advance tickets for the rest of the days till 1 May.
But the situation is different on the Dhaka-Chuadanga and Dhaka-Meherpur routes as the bus companies are under a bit of pressure for the advance tickets.
The demand for advance tickets is low for the launch services too.
Although the launch companies would start selling advance tickets officially from 20 April, some have started unofficial sales a week ago with demand at the bottom.
Bangladesh Inland Waterways Passenger Carrier's Association (BIWPCA) Secretary Siddiqur Rahman Patwary said that there is no significant demand for advance tickets. The pressure would start rising from next week and most of the people would leave Dhaka between 28 and 30 April.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Railway will start selling advance train tickets on 23 April. Advance tickets for 27 April will be available on 23 April and for 28-30 April and 1 May will be available on 24, 25, 26 and 27 April respectively.