Capital Development Authority opens financial bids for buses on feeder routes

The financial feasibility will determine which bidder would get to operate 150 buses on feeder routes within Islamabad

On 15th of September, the CDA advertised a tender for Bus Rapid Transit, seeking bids for 150 buses. The process invited private sector stakeholders of the transporting space to step up and give its financial and technical proposals to the CDA. Upon review, the successful bidder will be announced and will be responsible for the procurement, operations and maintenance of these buses. These buses were to be run on feeder routes all over Islamabad, in a way that they connect the rest of Islamabad’s sectors to the already operational metro bus. The Authority is now set to review the financial bids for the buses to be made operational on feeder routes.

The majority of public transit that exists in Islamabad revolves around the Metro Bus project. While the Metro bus is central to making transport accessible, the metro bus itself is not always accessible to the majority of the citizens of the twin cities. This is due to the fact that there are only a handful of areas that a track (Jangla) can touch upon. To address this issue, the concept of feeder routes was introduced which would make the areas out of reach of the metro stations accessible, through subsidised and cheap transport. 

Public transport is also one of the key talking points of the current PMLN premier. In July 2022, PM Shehbaz Sharif inaugurated the blue and green line services to facilitate the passengers of twin cities, connecting the Old Airport Road and Bara Kahu to the Islamabad Metro Network, respectively. In the same plan, the CDA was to connect the F, G and D-12 sectors of Islamabad using feeder routes. After the bid closed on the 12th of October, and technical evaluation was completed, the CDA has now hired consultants through the Civic Authority to determine financial feasibility of who gets the contract.

According to a recent media report, transport business giants M/s Daewoo Express and Faisal Movers are currently in the running for this tender. One company wants to operate hybrid diesel buses while the other wants to bring in completely electric buses for this project. The successful bidder will be paid the per kilometre cost of these 8.5 metre long buses, while procurement, operation and maintenance would be at the bidder’s disposal. The project is divided into two phases. The first 75 buses will be made operational in the first 4 months and the remaining 75 will be added in the next 2 months.

The consultant is expected to table their report within one week after which the goal is to make these buses operational before March 2023. A similar project under Punjab Mass Transit Authority is in the works that aims to provide similar feeder routes for the Metro Bus Network within Rawalpindi. Upon completion these projects will create a nexus of Public transport networks between the twin cities which will facilitate the rich and the poor alike.

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Shahnawaz Ali
Shahnawaz Ali
The author is a Finance journalist at Profit and can be reached via email at [email protected] and via twitter @shahnawaz_ali1

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