|Owner||Government of Punjab|
|Transit type||Bus rapid transit (BRT)|
|Number of lines||1 + (2 under construction)|
|Number of stations||27|
|Began operation||February 11, 2013|
|Number of vehicles||64 |
|System length||27 km (16.8 mi)|
The first section, which consists of a 27-kilometres long route and 29 bus stations between Gajumata to Shahadra was opened by Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif in February 2013.
The route covers dozens of residential and commercial localities along the city’s main artery — Ferozepur road, linking together Lytton road, Jain Mandar, MAO College, Lower Mall, Civil Secretariat, Aiwan-i-Adal, Chowk Katchehry (District Courts), Shrine of Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh, Ravi Road, and Shahdra town. The other routes are over mountain passes. An 8-kilometer section of the route is elevated.
The system uses e-ticketing and Intelligent Transportation System wand. The system is managed by the Punjab Metrobus Authority (PMBA) with the IT part is being carried out in coordination with Punjab IT Board.
Lahore Transport Company was established in 1984 to ease the traffic conditions of Lahore and improve bus services. LTC got all the transport responsibilities of traveling in Lahore in December 2009. A BRTS fleet of 650 Buses was introduced. It was given name " TransLahore". However, the BRTS did not have dedicated lanes and had to share roads with regular traffic with no right of way privileges. This resulted in a system that was a BRTS only in name.
After 20 years of discussion, the ambitious and expensive Lahore Metro, which had first been proposed in 1991 was abandoned in favour of a bus transit system, inspired by the successful Istanbul Metrobus system. Plans were developed in the last quarter of 2011 by both local and Turkish experts.
Construction of the project was divided into different packages and was awarded to different contractors. M/s Zahir Khan & Brothers in Joint venture with M/s Reliable Engineering Services (Pvt.) Limited constructed the major part of the Flyover including two elevated rotaries for BRTS.Habib Construction Services construct the down ramp to taxali gate of flyover. Construction project started in March 2012 and buses entered service in February 2013. The system, which was constructed by the Traffic Engineering and Planning Agency (TEPA), a subsidiary of the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) at a cost Rs 29.8 billion. The system was built on the build–operate–transfer basis via the collaboration between the Punjab and the Turkish government.
The system was inaugurated by Punjab, Chief Minister, Mian Shahbaz Sharif on February 11, 2013, in a ceremony attended by Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ, Prime Minister and PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, as well as ambassadors from a number of other countries. The Mayor of Istanbul, Kadir Topbaş, also announced a gift of 100 buses. It is Pakistan's first bus rapid transit system.
Lahore MBS currently operates a fleet of 45 buses. A further 19 buses have been imported from China by late 2013. The buses run on a single 28.7 km long Ferozepur Road corridor with two other corridors being planned. Buses on the current route have an average speed of 26 km/h.
Following the initiation ceremony, use of the system was to be free during the first month. However, following a week of chaos and overcrowding, a fare of Rs. 20 (US$ 0.2) was imposed irrespective of the destination.
According to the Lahore Transport Company, the daily ridership of the Metrobus exceeds 180,000 with the peak hourly ridership being 10,000 passengers per hour per direction (p/h/d). Studies conducted by the transport company claim that this figure will increase by 222% to 20,000 p/h/d in 2021.
During May 2013, the Punjab government received the feasibility study for the Multan Road line of the system. The study was conducted by the Turkey-based, İstanbul Ulaşım (Istanbul Transport), which also operates the Istanbul Metro. However, according to Punjab Metrobus Authority officials. the expansion of the Metrobus services in Lahore seem to be a low priority for the Punjab government, which is more inclined towards launching similar systems in the rest of the province.
Meanwhile another route, along the Grand Trunk Road, is also proposed for the Lahore Metrobus System. This line will begin at Azadi Chowk and end at the Lahore Ring Road, passing through the Lahore Railway Station and Daroghwala.
The Lahore Metrobus meets the criteria laid out by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy. It has barrier-controlled, automated off-board fare collection, a service interval of less than 2 minutes during peak hours, stations with well-designed signage and information systems and a precision bus docking system (See: Guided Bus). The terminal approach system has escalators and underground, subway-styled approach tubes. Due to these approach tubes, prospective passengers don't have to cross high-speed roads to get to the stations, but go below them instead, an example of a segregated Right-of-way. The stations have parking spaces for motorbikes and cycles while the two terminals provide car-parking facilities as well.
Two types of ticketing systems exist at the Metrobus terminals:
- Single-ride tokens that are good for one journey only and can be purchased for Rs. 20 (US$ 0.20) at the on-site ticket booth or the self-service Ticket Vending Machines (TVM).
- Metrobus Cards that can be utilized for multiple journeys. These RFID-based cards are credit-card sized and can be obtained from the ticket-office for a refundable amount of Rs. 130 (US$ 1.33). These cards can be recharged to a maximum balance of Rs. 1000 (US$ 10) at the TVMs. The Metrobus cards remove the hassle of standing in a queue for a token and card-holders can proceed directly to the terminal.
The route of the bus transit system is as follows:
Dulu Khurd Station
Nishtar Colony Station
Atari Saroba Station
Chungi Amar Sidhu Station
Ghazi Chowk Station
Qainchi Chowk Station
Ittefaq Hospital Station
Model Town Station
Kalma Chowk Station
Gaddafi Stadium Station
Canal Road Station
Shama Road Station
Qartaba Chowk Station)
MAO College Station
Civil Secretariat Station
Bhatti Chowk Station
Azadi Chowk Station
Timber Market Station
Niazi Chowk Station
Bus driver protest, May 2013
Regular services were briefly stopped on May 24, 2013, as the bus drivers staged a protest at the Gajjumata terminal against 'poor working conditions'. The drivers were of the view that their employers weren't treating them right; they were fined for 'minor irregularities' and didn't have basic facilities like drinking water and a waiting area. The protesters dispersed after the Punjab Metrobus Authority successful negotiated with them.
Overheating vehicles, May 2013
During late May 2013, the Metrobuses started to develop an over-heating problem as the temperatures in the city crossed 45°C. The air-conditioners gave away and the engines started blowing fumes. Passengers had to bear sweltering heat in the congested buses as well as constant stoppages. Punjab Metrobus Authority's public relations officer, Amir Masood, told the media that when the buses were imported the manufacturers, Sweden-based Volvo and China-based Sunwin, were told to provide buses that could remain operational in temperatures approaching 51°C. When the operation error came to surface, Masood said that the suppliers are being fined and the further import of buses from them is halted. To counter the problem, new air-conditioning units were fitted in the buses in late June 2013.
The Metro Bus Project was controversial. The project was unique in the sense that unlike other Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems, it used steel to create boundaries and to segregate lanes for the metro buses, which has led to allegations by other political parties on CM Shahbaz Sharif of manipulating the tendering process in order to create a market for Ittefaq Steel Industry, the family business of Sharif family. The rival political parties have also termed the awarding of contracts without the required approval of P & D Department, Punjab as gross violations of existing laws. The PML-N has denied these allegations.
The Punjab Government, in the development program of 2013-14, proposed similar Metrobus projects for Rawalpindi, Faisalabad and Multan. The Rawalpindi project being given top priority since it will serve the citizens of, the capital city, Islamabad as well. Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metrobus Service is under construction and will be completed in January 2015.
- Transport in Lahore
- List of bus routes in Lahore
- Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metrobus
- Multan Metrobus
- Karachi Metrobus
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- Habib Construction Services Completed Projects
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The Metrobus Route
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