LAHORE: An 11-member Turkish delegation has assured the Lahore Transport Company (LTC) that they would invest in the city’s urban transport sector. They will be investing in the Bus Rapid Transportation (BRT) project.
On a three-day visit to the city, the delegation held meetings with officials of LTC, Lahore Development Authority (LDA), Transport Engineering and Planning Agency (TEPA) and the Urban Transport Unit. On Thursday they told LTC officials they were ready to invest in the BRT. Turkish transport companies will also provide training to officials of LTC, LDA, TEPA, Planning and Development and other relevant departments of the Punjab government. They will also invest in building the transport infrastructure in the city.
LTC chairman Khawaja Hassaan told The Express Tribune that electronic ticketing will be introduced once the BRT is installed at Ferozepur Road and Multan Road. “LTC will make full use of the expertise developed at the Istanbul traffic system,” he said. He added that once the system was installed and started working, issues in sectors would also be tackled. He said the Koreans are also keen to invest in the sector.
Hassaan hoped that the electronic ticketing system would be a success, adding optimistically, “Ten years ago the urban transport sector in Turkey had the same problems we have now.”
He was hopeful that the introduction of the new system would bring remarkable changes in Lahore’s transportation system. “If Turks can overcome their transportation problems within a decade, why not us?” he added.
Hassaan said at least 70 buses each were required to start the operations in Ferozepur Road and Multan Road under the BRT system. The Ferozepur Road route starts from Gajjumatta, runs through the Lower Mall and ends at Shahdara. The Multan Road route will start from Niaz Baig and end at Chauburji.
One lane on each road will be dedicated to the buses, Hassaan said. He said the buses will be air-conditioned and faster than regular buses. Motorcycle rickshaws would not be allowed on the routes the buses run on, he added.
Hassaan said a technical adviser for the execution of the project was being appointed. “Eleven points have been identified where bus terminals and depots will be established,” he said. He assured that there would be no compromise on the quality and sustainability of the BRT project.
The chairman declared the provision of state of the art transport infrastructure as the top priority of LTC’s urban transport strategy.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 14th, 2011.
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