A new transport system on the lines of the Metro Bus Service is nearing its launch under which citizens will be able to avail the services of modern luxury busses on all public and private transport routes in Rawalpindi, sources said Thursday.
They said 78 modern luxury buses will ply under the Rawalpindi Integrated Transport System on all private and public transport routes within the garrison city. “The project will be completed in two phases. In the first phase, the new transport will run on 34 routes in the city,” the sources said, adding that two depots have also been earmarked for bus parking.
According to sources, the new transport system will run under the supervision of the Punjab Mass Transit Authority whereas the bus fares and timings will be in accordance with the Metro Bus Service.
Sources in the district administration told The Express Tribune that after Metro Bus Service, another public transport project for Rawalpindi city is nearing its launch. “The Rawalpindi Integrated Transport System will be operated as a feeder bus service under which minibuses will be operated on routes in and around Rawalpindi city,” they explained. “Initially 78 mini feeder buses will be operated in the city. These feeder buses will be under the administrative control of the Metro Mass Transit Authority,” they said.
Sources said in the first phase, buses will ply on 34 routes in which initially 12 busses will be operated on the route starting from Soan Bus Stand through GT Road Railway Station, Hyder Road, Islamabad Expressway through Airport Road, Rawalpindi Railway Station and Chaklala Railway Station.
Similarly, 16 buses will be operated on the routes of Dhok Kashmiriyan, Rahmanabad, Jinnah Park, Kachehri Stop, Punjab House, Murrir Chowk, Murree Road to the Rawalpindi Railway Station. Further, 12 buses will ply from Dhok Kashmirian via Railway Workshop on Tipu Road, Liaquat Road, Ganj Mandi and TB Hospital, Rawal Road and Chandni Chowk routes.
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In addition to this, 11 buses will ply on Purodhai Mor, Murir Chowk, Kashmir Road route while 15 buses will be operated on Faizabad Interchange, IJP Road, Sixth Road, Rehmanabad Stop, Sadiqabad Chowk, Khanna Road, and Khanna Bridge route.
The sources said two depots have been allocated for all the buses. “The first depot will be made usable by renovating the erstwhile GTS bus stand at Saddar while the second will be made usable by repairing the Varan bus depot near Chauhar Chowk,” they explained. The timings of the new transport system will be from 6am to 10pm, while the fare will be the same as that of the metro buses, they said.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Regional Transport Authority (RTA) Secretary Arshad Ali said: “This is a government-to-government project. Some buses will reach Rawalpindi from China while others will arrive from other countries,” he said. “Initially all buses will be connected to the metro stations so that they can be used as feeder buses,” he added.
The RTA secretary said the passengers getting off the metro busses will no longer need to board any private or public transport. “The citizens will get luxurious buses whose fares will be reasonable and people will be able to travel in the best environment,” he said.
Ali said the first phase of the project would be started in the next few days. “The route of Rawalpindi Integrated Transport System from Kachehri Chowk to Soan Bus Stand has been changed. “Now the bus will go from Kachehri Chowk to Rawat vegetable and fruit market,” he explained.
The RTA secretary said the new transport system will provide the best transport facilities to the residents of the garrison city.