Public transport: Govt to order studies on new Metro Bus projects

Published: August 7, 2013
"The expansion of the Metro Bus Service in Lahore appears for now to be a low priority for the provincial govt," Metro Bus Authority officials. PHOTO: FILE

"The expansion of the Metro Bus Service in Lahore appears for now to be a low priority for the provincial govt," Metro Bus Authority officials. PHOTO: FILE


The Punjab Metro Bus Authority (PMBA) is to invite bids from consultants soon to conduct feasibility studies for potential bus-only routes in the twin cities of Islamabad-Rawalpindi, Faisalabad and Multan, The Express Tribune has learnt.

Once the feasibility studies are done, the authority will decide where to launch the next Metro Bus modelled on the new service launched in Lahore this year. The PMBA is currently preparing request for proposals, which will later be advertised to invite expressions of interest in the consultancy work for the three projects.

The consultants will have to identify four important routes in each city (based on passenger numbers) and state which would benefit the most passengers. They will also estimate construction costs. Terms of references (TORs) for the request for proposal are still being established, said officials in the PMBA. They said that the studies would have to start from scratch, as no previous studies had been done in these cities.

Last May, the PMBA received a feasibility report from Ulasium for a potential 12.6-km Metro Bus route in Lahore from Thokar Niaz Beg to MAO College on Multan Road. A route from Azadi Chowk to the Ring Road via the City Railway Station and Daroghawala along GT Road has also been proposed. However, the authority officials said that expansion of the Metro Bus Service in Lahore “for now appears to be a low priority for the provincial government”.

They said that the decision on which city would get the next Metro Bus service would be made on the basis of the passenger numbers reported in the feasibility studies, but it would most likely be in Islamabad-Rawalipindi.

The authority officials said that a consultant selection committee would be set up to decide the criteria for the bidding firms. After prequalification, the lowest bidder would take on the consulting work. Each study could go to separate consultants or to one. After the feasibility study, a PC-2 report would be made for the next budget.

New buses

Nineteen buses ordered by the PMBA in June, a month after the inauguration of the 27-km Metro Bus route in Lahore, are yet to arrive in the country. Officials said that the buses were currently at a Chinese port, ready to be shipped. They said that the authority had arranged for a vessel and they would arrive “soon”, though not this month.

The buses had been expected at the end of June, then in July. The PMBA currently operates a fleet of 45 articulated buses in Lahore.

PMBA Managing Director Sibtain Fazle Haleem was not available for comment.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • Liberal
    Aug 7, 2013 - 2:16AM

    These projects could sound good if launched after providing better health and education facilities to people of entire Punjab. I regrett the misplaced priorities set by provincial government.
    However, for political point scoring these are best projects which one can display in his show case.


  • Chalo
    Aug 7, 2013 - 2:18AM

    Dear Mian Sb. You are now the PM of Pakistan. Think beyond your province and provide services, especially in areas like Karachi where traffic is a major problem.
    Yours sincerely, A Random Lahori.


  • A Pakistani
    Aug 7, 2013 - 5:32AM

    Well begun is half done!
    The Metro bus is already making the lives of more than 115,000 travellers commuting daily to their workplaces to earn their livelihood and contribute towards Pakistan economy. While the Metro bus system is contributing to reduction in petroleum demand, reduction in roads congestion, reduction in environmental pollution and saving of millions of minutes of the commuters to enable them to spend better quality life.
    This is indeed one of the most commendable steps of PMLN Government.


  • Parvez Amin
    Aug 7, 2013 - 6:26AM

    We must first put up projects that have a substantial Return on Investment. We do not need projects at this stage that look wonderful and but need an annual subsidy to keep them going.


  • optimist
    Aug 7, 2013 - 6:32AM

    I think govt should introduce a TEMPORARY SPECIALIST TAX in various cities to raise funds for Metro Bus Project.
    I am sure people of Karachi, Multan, Pindi etc will not mind paying a small tax for a year or two when they know exactly where their money will be spent on.
    Why not put 50 rupees tax on film tickets (tickets are currently anything from 400 to 1500 rupees) for two years? There can be many ways to do this.


  • Khurram Awan
    Aug 7, 2013 - 6:40AM

    @Chalo: Mr Lahori ( I doubt about it ) kindly educate yourself before stating such Ignorant Comments. Also read the whole news piece again and again until your understood what is stated there. Lahore Metro Project was funded and conceived by the Provincial Government and It had nothing to do with the Federal Government. This time as well the Punjab Provincial Government’s Institute known as The Punjab Metro Bus Authority (PMBA) invites the bids to extend metro project and Nawaz Sharif and Federal Government have nothing to do with it.
    After the 18th Amendment every Province can make such decisions as PSDP pool is given to them and Federal Government dont pay for such projects and if Sindh wants that system then Mr Qaim Ali Shah should announce this project unless the Federal Government will intervene but then it will definitely be protested upon by the biased eye of Sindh based politicians.


  • kala_bacha
    Aug 7, 2013 - 7:41AM

    PMLN made metro bus and punjab gave the PM ship. Deal done!


  • Umer
    Aug 7, 2013 - 7:52AM

    Bomb blasts and anarchy for the three smaller provinces and progress only for Punjab. Thank you PMLN.


  • Faisal
    Aug 7, 2013 - 8:59AM

    While I am not a fan of the ‘Lion’ as I do not seen any any qualities in this PM which resembles that of a Lion, I do admit that Metro transport projects are an urgent need of the masses in the urban areas. Although in Karachi we already have a basic infrastructure to develop a circular railway/ metro railway is available which only needs to be rehabilitated, this can only happen when the law & order situation improves. However with the random snatching going on coupled with the inept government in place, do not foresee any improvement but an overall deterioration on the law and order front – so the metro project in Karachi is a long way of.


  • Cobra Commander
    Aug 7, 2013 - 9:28AM

    @Umer: Please read Khurran Awan’s comment clearfully and you will have answer for your uninformed comment. PML-N is in business for less than 90 days and you are blaming them for bomb blasts? Is it PML-N fault that Karachi was inundated for four days because PPP/MQM didnt do any development work there in last five years? Is it PML-N’s fault that CM KPK wants to hug taliban bombers who are blowing buildings and people in province? All provinces are free to make decisions and raise capital. CM Shahbaz has a vision and he is implementing it with gusto. People complaining that Punjab government is not paying enought attention to education should read the world bank consultant report, which came out last month, on how the literacy rate is increasing in Punjab.


  • Aug 7, 2013 - 10:43AM

    @A Pakistani:
    Mr CM Punjab atleast increase the number of buses in Lahore so atleast people can find a place to stand easyly


  • suzo
    Aug 7, 2013 - 12:39PM

    please build a metro from thokar to M.A.O(lhr) .existing metro is simply great!


  • Aug 7, 2013 - 2:41PM

    I visited lahore some days ago after 1 year, i shocked to see new Lahore is looking like Paris ! i traveled through METRO BUS just in 20 rupees. That was a great journey. I think CM Shehbaz introduced a great revolution by METRO BUS SERVICE. it should also in Karachi.
    Solute to CM !! :)


  • chalo
    Aug 7, 2013 - 5:19PM

    @Khurram, You can raise a different opinion. However, doubting things randomly do not achieve much do they? Difficult to see why its so hard to believe I am a resident of Lahore? Are we not allowed to differ on opinions.


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