While talking to a public delegation in his office on Wednesday, Jahanzaib Khan Khichi, the Provincial Minister for Transport said that the provincial government is trying to bring in reforms in the transportation sector in order to facilitate the commuters and provide them with superior services. The first step is to get 50 electric buses on the roads of the city for the convenience of the citizens.
He revealed that the government has planned to introduce an environment-friendly transportation system. He further shared that the government has studied international transport models to provide top-notch services to the citizens of Lahore. 50 electric buses would be plied on different routes in Lahore under the first phase of this project. The city would also get modern electricity chargers to charge the buses, said the Provincial Minister for Transport. The buses would have automated fare collection, he added. The plan is to extend the scope of this environment-friendly project to the rest of the districts.
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According to details, the buses would be imported from China and the cost of one bus would be Rs 55 million. The operational cost of these electric buses is said to be Rs 23 crore per annum. 7 electric stations would be established to charge electric buses at a construction cost of 7 crore. These 50 electric buses
12 buses would run on Wapda route from the Railway Station, 7 would be run on the route of Packages Mall from Shalimar Gardens and 4 buses would run on Saddar route from the Railway Station. In addition to that, 13 electric buses would run from Thokerniaz Beg via Canal Jalamor, 5 would run on Bhati Chowk on Sarwar Road route and 9 electric buses would run from Chauburji Chowk on Shaukat Khanum Hospital route. It is hoped that these buses would provide efficient services to the commuters and help curb the menace of air and noise pollution in the capital of Punjab. Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar had earlier emphasized the need to make the ‘vehicles inspection certification system’ operational to eliminate smog.
Transportation Woes of Lahori Citizens
The citizens of the 2nd largest city of Pakistan and the capital of the province of Punjab, Lahore are still facing transport issues as the facilities in the sector remain inadequate for the population of over more than 120 million. After an agonizing wait of 5 years, the Orange Line Train which is the largest transportation project in the history of Pakistan was launched. The Lahore Transport Company which was responsible for running local transport, however, suspended service on all routes in year 2020. 4 government bus terminals weren’t able to provide basic facilities.
The Orange Line Train and Metrobus projects that were worth billions of dollars haven’t been able to ease the difficulties of the citizens of Lahore. The transport between towns has also been in an unsatisfactory condition making lives difficult for the commuters. The number of traffic accidents has increased due to private companies using substandard vehicles for inter-city bus services. Moreover, this inferior quality vehicles have also added to the pollution in the city.
Absence of public transport causes problems
It has turned into a crises-like situation for the citizens of Lahore as there are is no affordable public transport available. There has been a rapid increase in the number of private vehicles on the roads due to shortage of public transport and due to this roads in Lahore stay jammed for hours on end. Moreover, motorcycle rickshaws have become the go-to for the commuters due to absence of public transport.
However, the launch of this electric bus service is being seen as a welcome step. The plan of the provincial government is to solve the growing transport problem while also keeping in check the pollution caused by the usage of substandard vehicles. It is hoped that the transportation system is upgraded and efforts are made to provide standard facilities to the citizens of the metropolis.