Transport in Lahore
Lahore is one of Pakistan's most accessible cities and the only city in the country where one can find public and private transportation 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. This includes public buses, as well as thousands of rickshaws and taxis, which run on compressed natural gas to reduce pollution in the city. About 75% of residents have their own conveyances. The roads in the city are well maintained and are broadened when needed[peacock term] to meet increasing demand. ]]
In addition to the historic Grand Trunk Road (G.T. Road), motorways connecting all major cities (Islamabad, Multan, Faisalabad, Peshawar, Rawalpindi, etc.) have been built. A motorway to Sialkot is under construction. The government has built underpasses to ease congestion and prevent traffic jams, and according to official figures, Lahore has the highest number of underpasses in Pakistan. The government would undertake planned rehabilitation of the roads, which have outlived their designed life, construction of missing road links and development of province-wide secondary arteries linking national motorways and trade corridors to foster economic opportunities via meeting expanding domestic and international travel and trade demands.
Lahore Ring Road
The Lahore Ring Road (LRR) Project was launched on December 22, 2004 at a groundbreaking ceremony attended by President General Pervez Musharaf. The LRR Project is a large road project being developed by the Punjab Government, intended to ensure efficient and speedy movement of freight and passengers, to alleviate traffic flow problems, and to boost the city's potential for industrial development. The project includes the construction of a six-lane divided highway, interchanges, RCC bridges, reinforced earth abutments and walls, overhead pedestrian bridges, culverts, tunnels, underpasses, flyovers and related works, at a total projected cost of over Rs.20 billion and Rs.13 billion respectively.
The Punjab government had allocated funds to support a number of projects:
- Rs 170.300 million for W/I of Thokar-Raiwind Road, Rs 50 million for the dualisation of Lahore-Jaranwala Road from Ferozepur Interchange to Mandi Faizabad
- Rs 40 million for the construction of extending building for IWMI Thokar Niaz Baig Lahore
- Rs 2.7 million for the construction of an overhead bridge at Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jillani Road near University of Animal and Veterinary Sciences
- Rs 56 million for PC-II for a feasibility study of elevated expressways in Lahore
- Rs 10 million for the construction of an elevated expressway from Lahore Bridge to Niazi Chowk
- Rs 50 million for the strengthening of Sheikhupura-Gujranwala Road
- Rs 15 million for the construction of a bypass between Sargodha and Lahore Road.
Bus rapid transit
The Lahore Metro Bus System (MBS) is Pakistan's first bus rapid transit system that runs from Gajju Mata to Shahdara down Lahore's main artery, Ferozepur Road. The route has forty-five 18-metre-long articulated buses that run between twenty-seven stations along a 27 km corridor; nine stations are built on top of an overhead bridge.
It was inaugurated by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on February 11, 2013, in a ceremony attended by Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ, and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The service was free for one month after launch.
The Traffic Engineering and Planning Agency (TEPA), a subsidiary of the Lahore Development Authority (LDA), was entrusted with the task of constructing the MBS, a copy of Istanbul's Metrobus, its own BRT system, in collaboration with Turkish experts. The project ended up costing Rs 29.8 billion. It replaced the shelved the Lahore Rapid Mass Transit system which would have connected Shahdra and Hamza Town but would have cost $2.4 billion.
Several bus companies operate in Lahore. Premier Bus Services, owned by the Beaconhouse Group, was started in 2003, and provides transportation services to the general public in Lahore. With over 240 buses running on exclusive routes, it is the largest public transport company in Pakistan. As of 2010[update], the buses are in the process of being converted to compressed natural gas for environmental and economic reasons.
Sammi Daewoo's City Bus Division operates four routes within the city and two suburban routes for Gujranwala and Sheikhupura. Although fewer in number, these buses are air-conditioned and are more comfortable.
In addition to these two major companies, there are several other small companies (New Khan Metro, Niazi, N. G. Urban Transport System, etc.) that provide services within Lahore, but they only cover particular routes and are few in number.
Pakistan Railways is headquartered in Lahore. Pakistan Railways provides an important mode of transportation for commuters and connects distant parts of the country with Lahore for business, sightseeing, pilgrimage, and education. The Lahore Central Railway Station, built during the British colonial era, is located in the heart of the city.
To accommodate increased air travel, the government built a new city airport in 2003. It was named Allama Iqbal International Airport after the national poet-philosopher of Pakistan, Allama Muhammad Iqbal, and is served by international airlines as well as the national flag carrier, Pakistan International Airlines. The previous airport now operates as the Hajj Terminal to facilitate the great influx of pilgrims traveling to Saudi Arabia to perform the hajj every year. Lahore also has a general aviation airport known as Walton Airport.
- Khan, Rameez (14 February 2012). "Rapid Bus Transit System: Plans for First Bus-Only Road Stretch Extended". The Express Tribune.
- Hasnain, Khalid (11 February 2013). "Lahore Turns Festive as Metro Bus Service Opens". Dawn.
- "Group Profile". The Beaconhouse group. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
- "Daewoo Express (Dream Journey)".
- "Pakistan Railways".