Metrobus Authority gears up to launch 200 new buses

TO GO WITH Pakistan-unrest-vote-politics-development-education,FOCUS by Khurram Shahzad In this photograph taken on June 5, 2013, shows Pakistani employees walking beside metro buses parked at a terminal in the provincial capital Lahore. Pakistanis are hoping their new prime minister will roll out high-profile projects that became his party's trademark in its political heartland of Punjab, but the nation's dire finances threaten the optimism. The Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) won huge popularity and a reputation for getting things done with a series of big-ticket schemes over the past five years in Punjab, the country's richest, most populous province. A metro bus system in the provincial capital Lahore -- the first such scheme in the country's 65-year history -- free laptops and solar energy panels for students and a network of high-quality schools in poor rural areas made Punjab the envy of Pakistan. AFP PHOTO / ARIF ALI

The Punjab Metrobus Authority (PMA) will be launching 200 new public buses on feeder routes of the Lahore Metro Bus this week, it has been reported. The new buses will be launched in collaboration with Daewoo Pakistan.

PMA General Manager Operations Syed Uzair Shah is reported to have said that arrangements to start the service on 14 routes of the Lahore Metro Bus will be completed by next week.

The project was delayed by over nine months due to lengthy procedures and bureaucratic hurdles. Earlier, it was delayed by the confusion in agreement terms between the authority and the Daewoo Pakistan.

Brand new imported buses stood idle for the last two months as a result of the deadlock on whether to install security cameras on the feeder routes. Later, it was decided that the PMA, through its vendors, would install the CCTV cameras.

Daewoo Pakistan Spokesperson Naeemullah said that the company had completed the drivers’ route training and was awaiting a green signal from the PMA.

Initially, the public buses will operate on 14 feeder routes, covering a total length of 123km. Later, more buses will be phased in once the Lahore Orange Line Metro Train is operational.