Mass transit: Metro feeder buses project faces delay

An agreement had been signed for running 200 buses.

Imran Adnan April 05, 2016


A project to run feeder buses to metro bus stations faces delay, The Express Tribune has learnt.

The Punjab Mass-transit Authority (PMA) had signed an agreement with Daewoo Pakistan for procurement, operation and maintenance of feeder buses for integrated bus operations in Lahore. Daewoo Pakistan had announced that it would bring 200 new buses by April.

Requesting anonymity because he is not authorised to talk to the media, a senior PMA official said that a “slight” disagreement over terms had surfaced between the authority and the vendor. “It has delayed the project. Deliberations are underway. The issue will be resolved in the next couple of days,” he said.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Daewoo Pakistan General Manager Khurram Mirza said that the company had postponed the import of new buses. He, however, said that the project had been delayed owing to the ongoing construction work in the city in connection with the Lahore Orange Line Metro Train project.

“The new buses will hit city roads by July. In the first phase, the company will invest Rs3 billion on procurement of 200 new buses. Later, it will add more buses to its intercity fleet. Our company won the contract in a competitive bidding process, under which 162 large and 38 small buses would be operated on city roads,” Mirza said.

“These buses will be part of the Daewoo City Bus Service. The company will own and operate these buses on feeder-routes of the Metro Bus Service and charge the PMA on per kilometre basis. The authority will pay Rs165 and Rs140 per kilometre for large and small buses respectively,” he added.

It has been estimated that each bus would transport 1,000 passengers per day to metro bus stations, he said.

PMA Operations General Manager Syed Uzair Shah said the authority had a vision to provide public transport facility to all citizens. “In the first phase, these buses will be operated on 14 routes with a combined length of 123 kilometres. Later, more buses will be inducted under a phased programme,” he said.

According to the bidding documents, the buses will be equipped with the Automated Fare Collection and Bus Scheduling System (AFC-BSS) and GPS tracking devices. The operator will set up card (ticket) sale and recharge points at 22 localities on the feeder routes in the city as specified by the authority. These sale points will remain open during bus operation time – 18 hours a day. The operator will also provide 15 handheld electronic ticket validators for spot checking for PMA-assigned ticket inspectors.

The agreement has been signed for six years. It can be extended with mutual consent on compliance of the contract terms. The authority has plans to run as many as 1,400 standard or mini buses on 104 routes with a length of 951 kilometres.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 6th, 2016.


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