Govt jacks up Sightseeing Lahore Bus Service fares


–TDCP spokesperson says price hike won’t affect tourism

LAHORE: Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab (TDCP) on Thursday hiked fares for the Sightseeing Lahore Bus Service, which will go in effect from November 1.

According to the revised fares that have left a number of people disheartened, Gaddafi Stadium to the Greater Iqbal Park route will cost tourists Rs300, the corporate sector Rs20,000 and educational institutions Rs7,500.

The Gaddafi to Wagah Border fares have been increased from Rs300 to Rs400 for tourists, from Rs20,000 to 25,000 for the corporate sector and Rs7,500 to Rs,10,000 for educational institutions.

Fares for students have been increased from Rs150 to Rs200; however, the service will be offered to senior citizens and the handicapped free of cost.

Sources told Pakistan Today that the Sightseeing Lahore Bus Service by TDCP was a new trend of tourism in the city and cheaper rates provided the middle and lower middle classes a decent recreational facility; however, with the fares jacked up, the department feared a negative impact on tourism.

They expressed distress over the increasing rates and said that now tourism was also becoming expensive for the common man.

Raheem Shah, a tourist, while talking to Pakistan Today, said that there were no tourism facilities left for the members of the middle and lower middle classes. “How are we supposed to show our children the heritage and culture of the city?” he questioned.

“There are so many other expenses for parents; such as their kids’ extracurricular and tuition fee. In such a situation, we cannot ask them to pay further for school trips as it is not just the ticket money that we gather, there are also the commuting and refreshment charges that the students have to pay,” said Najma Siddiqui, a school headmistress.

TDCP spokesperson informed Pakistan Today that the fares had been rationalised as there was an increase in the prices of diesel and other services. “This will not affect tourism,” he said.