Islamabad (Web Desk): Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday inaugurated of Green and Blue lines of the mass transit metro bus service in Islamabad.
Addressing at the launch of the first four-line interconnected metro bus service in the federal capital, the premier termed the service a gift for the residents of the twin cities, which will accommodate common man, students, and workers plying on the routes.
The service will connect Bhara Kahu, GT Road, Koral and Rawalpindi through the Green, Orange, Blue and Red Lines, respectively.
The bus service will run from Bhara Kahu to PIMS (Green Line) and from Koral to PIMS (Blue Line). The two lines will merge with the Red Line and from the Faiz Ahmad Faiz bus stop, passengers can take the Orange line to Islamabad International Airport.
The prime minister mentioned that at the time when petrol prices skyrocketed, the launch of four metro bus lines would be a sigh of relief for commuters.
He said it was part of the government’s efforts to provide an efficient and comfortable public transport system.
"This will address problems of traffic load, fuel cost, and environmental hazards, he added.
PM Shehbaz announced to offer free transportation service to commuters for one month.
He regretted that a delay in the launch of service for four years during the previous tenure incurred heavy losses to the national exchequer.
The prime minister directed the completion of allied services to the metro bus project on an urgent basis to facilitate the common man.
He said that the shuttle service from Rawat to Koral was under consideration and funds would be provided for an early launch.
PM Shehbaz said that efforts were afoot to control inflation in the country through short-term relief measures.
He said the government would promote solar power generation projects to mitigate the challenges of a shortage of electricity.
The prime minister lauded the announcement of the Punjab government to provide free electricity to consumers using 100 units and hoped that the other provinces would also emulate the facility.
Chairman Capital Development Authority (CDA) Amir Ahmed Ali said that 30 buses from China had been added to the fleet to facilitate the general public.
He said that from Koral to PIMS, 13 bus stations had been set up with a headway of six minutes. Due to road construction up to Rawat, a bus shuttle will be run from PWD stop.
"There are eight stations completed on Green Line so far, whereas the rest of the six stations would be completed by August 14," he said , adding that a bus depot had been established at Bhara Kahu to save the dead mileage.
Amir Ahmed Ali said a smart card would also be launched to be used on all bus services, including Rawalpindi’s Red Line.
He said that command and control center is also being established to manage the system of metro and other transport service in the capital.
The CDA chief said that Islamabad was the first city in the country with four bus lines operating and vowed to expand in the capital’s sector areas at a stretch of 8-9 kilometres.