Transport in Lahore

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Map of Lahore showing major roads, railways & airports (click to enlarge)

Lahore is one of Pakistan's most accessible cities[citation needed] and the only city in the country where one can find public and private transportation 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] The roads in the city are well maintained and are broadened when needed[peacock term] to meet increasing demand. ]]

Roads[edit]

Ravi Toll Plaza on the Lahore-Islamabad Motorway

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[edit]

Lahore Ring Road is an 85-km long 6-lane high-speed limited-access or controlled-access orbital motorway around Lahore, Pakistan. It is linked to the M-2 Motorway and the N5 National Highway.

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.

Other projects[edit]

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 services[edit]

Bus rapid transit[edit]

Lahore Metro Bus System[edit]

Main article: Lahore Metrobus

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.[1]

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.[2]

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.[2] 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.[1]

TransLahore[edit]

TransLahore also known as Lahore Transport Company (LTC) is a public transit bus system established for the carrying of urban passengers in Lahore, Punjab.[3] It also operates a bus rapid transit system in Lahore. However, the BRTs do not have dedicated lanes and right of privilege. It was established under the companies ordinance of 1984. LTC got all the transport responsibilities of traveling in Lahore in December 2009.The fleet of TransLahore has more than 650 buses which run throughout the city as well as sub-urban areas of the city.

It travels under routes issued by the Government of Punjab.[4] It issues students "Green Card", which means that PKR 10 will be charged by the students on LTC's Buses.[5] The buses are air conditioned and have separate sections for men and women.

Bus companies[edit]

Several bus companies also 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, the buses are in the process of being converted to compressed natural gas for environmental and economic reasons.[6]

Sammi Daewoo's City Bus Division operates four routes within the city and two suburban routes for Gujranwala and Sheikhupura.[7] 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.

In addition to above Turkish company Albayrak is operating 172 CNG buses in Lahore since June 2012 and also operating MBS (Metro Bus Service) with 64 articulated buses since Feb 2013 becoming largest public transport operator in Lahore.

Railways[edit]

Railways and commuter trains[edit]

Pakistan Railways is headquartered in Lahore.[8] 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. Railway stations are also present at Shahdara Bagh, Shahdara Town, Badami Bagh, Mughalpura, Lahore Cantonment , Wagah, Walton Cantonment, Kot Lakhpat, Kahna Nau, Jia Bagga and Raiwind. Commuter trains run and connect these stations.

Air travel[edit]

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.

See also[edit]

References[edit]