LAHORE: The Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab (TDCP) is all set to widen the scope of Sightseeing Lahore, the country’s first tourist bus service, by introducing three new double-decker buses.
The corporation has already imported the vehicles and is ready to open new routes for tourists, but is waiting to ride out the current wave of terrorism in the country before introducing the service.
TDCP Managing Director Ahmar Malik said the corporation proposed two new routes, including a tour from Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium Terminal to Greater Iqbal Park (with an extended stay). The second route would be from Gaddafi Stadium Terminal to Jallo Park or Wagah Border.
“The corporation has almost completed its revamp of the existing bus terminal to accommodate new vehicles and routes,” he added.
Responding to a question, he indicated the government would approve new routes for which the corporation will announce tariffs. Malik said Sightseeing Lahore has got a tremendous response from citizens and tourists.
With merely two buses, the corporation has attracted over 100,000 passengers since its inauguration in November 2015, the MD claimed.
He pointed out the Sightseeing Lahore bus service has created a great buzz in the country and attracted passengers from Karachi, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Peshawar, Gilgit-Baltistan, Multan, Gujranwala and other cities.
The corporation initiated the process of importing three new double-deckers buses in March, 2016, but some social activists filed a public interest petition in the Lahore High Court (LHC), saying the vehicles should be bought from local vendors instead.
Malik said Sightseeing Lahore was an international standard service as the corporation examined standards of similar services in cities like London, Dubai and Budapest.
Earlier, the corporation imported two tailor-made double-decker buses from Volvo China. Each bus has a capacity to accommodate 67 passengers.
The vehicles are equipped with a public address system which allows guides to inform tourists about historical places.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 28th, 2017.