Punjab government has announced 200 buses which will run on feeder routes towards the main route, according to media reports. The project was initially meant to start in April last year but delays in the agreement between the Punjab Mass-transit Authority (PMA) and the operator postponed the project.
The service was formally launched by Chief Minister Punjab, Shehbaz Sharif, today. The 200 new buses will also offer similar ease and accessibility as the Metro Bus service and will operate within a 500-metre radius to connect the 27-km Metro bus route to the rest of Lahore.
There will be 14 routes (129km in route length) with buses arriving every 10 minutes. The fare collection system will be automatic and the buses will be equipped with Bus Scheduling System.
- Fully air-conditioned
- Automatic stop announcement like Metro buses
- Camera surveillance
- Ramp for wheel chair passengers
- Priority seats for the handicapped and the old
- Passenger door safety
The same metro bus card can be used in both Feeder buses and Metro buses. A fixed and simple integrated fare will be charged irrespective of the route and services.
- Flat fare of Rs 15 will be charged for Feeder bus passengers.
- Additional trip charge of Rs 5 will be charged for passengers transferring from Feeder bus to Metro bus.
- Metrobus passengers have to pay nothing when transferring to Feeder buses.
- Passengers travelling from Feeder bus to feeder bus will be charged Rs 5 per trip.
- Maximum fare of Rs 25 will be charged for three trips.
- Passengers have to switch to next bus within 30 minutes or the token will expire.
Out of the total 200 buses, 162 are large-sized (for 70 passengers) while the remaining 38 are small-sized, according to Daewoo. The operator has a six-year contract with PMA and is extendable subject to mutual agreement between the parties.
The government will be paying a flat rate of Rs 165 per kilometre for large buses and Rs 140 for small buses irrespective of whether they are carrying any passengers or not. However, it is estimated that a huge amount travellers will benefit from the service during busy hours. 162 large buses are capable of carrying about 1,000 passengers each day.
Ticket card sale points will be set up at 22 locations along the feeder routes and 15 handheld electronic ticket validators will be used by ticket inspectors. It is possible that the service will be expanded in the future.