LAHORE: In the face of stiff competition from the Pakistan Railways’ recently launched Green Line Train, the management of Pak Business Express has introduced several value-added features to its services in a bid to maintain its edge.
“We are experiencing fierce competition now, therefore, it is imperative to show railway commuters that we still have lots of services to offer,” said Mian Shafqat Ali, Director Operations of Pak Business Express, while talking to The Express Tribune.
In an effort to protect its market strength, the Business Express management recently unveiled new services including a pick and drop service in Lahore. It provides free pick-and-drop facility to the commuters to and from four main points of the city. The response, according to Ali, is good and travellers are using the facility to avoid traffic disruption.
Pak Business Express was the first public-private partnership model in railway services, which kicked off back in February 2012.
Though at the beginning of operations of Business Express, consumers faced some disruption in services like Wi-Fi, video and music channels on LCD, but those were resolved with time.
The Green Line Train project of Pakistan Railways was initiated more or less on the model of Business Express.
Pakistan Railways General Manager Javed Anwar recently told The Express Tribune that the purpose to start this service was to make people realise that the Pakistan Railways was also capable of operating high-quality train services.
Since Green Line Train is an Islamabad-Karachi bound service and Business Express runs on Lahore-Karachi tracks, there is a possibility that travellers may opt for Green Line, since its touches several cities on its way to Islamabad.
“We are launching another service to connect Lahore with some important cities,” Ali said, adding with this Lahore would become a transit city for many travellers.
Elaborating on the service called “Intercity Service”, Ali said they would provide air-conditioned coaches in cities like Islamabad, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Rawalpindi and Murree.
In addition to these, Pak Business Express has also revealed plans to upgrade telecom services to the fourth generation network for better internet connectivity while travelling.
The competition is improving services and is working for the benefit of the common travellers.
“Thanks to the increased competition, the travellers are experiencing ideal services,” said Arsalan Haider, a frequent traveller to Karachi. “This is the power of free market which forces the railways to start a train with quality services, which previously was losing the ground to public-private-partnerships,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 30th, 2015.
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