LAHORE, Feb 9: Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan will inaugurate the Metro Bus System (MBS) at a ceremony in Nishtar Colony on Sunday (today).

Operation of 45 articulated buses on the dedicated bus pathway constructed from Gajjumata to Azadi Chowk will begin today with the completion of the Rs30 billion project. However, independent and political critics of the project say that it has cost the national exchequer about Rs80 billion. Some of the buses would move up to Shahdara on the existing road.

The 27-kilometre long MBS route from Gajjumata to Shahdara will provide efficient transport to the residents of various localities. As many as 27 bus stations have been built on the bus route for passengers’ convenience.

All people invited to the bus launch ceremony will travel from Nishtar Colony to Azadi Chowk by bus and their personal vehicles will be parked at various points on Ferozepur Road with special stickers on them.

Students from various educational institutions of the city will facilitate the passengers using automated ticketing system installed at every bus station.

Lahore Transport Company Chairman Khawaja Ahmad Hassan told a meeting of the LTC board of directors and senior officials here on Saturday that MBS project would transform the urban transport culture.

“As many as 30,000 people will travel every day by 45 modern articulated buses,” Hassan said.

He said that LTC’s 24 bus and van routes had been reorganised and linked to the MBS route under an integrated programme to facilitate the public. He said a new route was made operational from Thokar Niaz Beg to Chunian on Saturday.

Work on the bus project, which has been completed with the support of the Turkish government and experts, was started in March last year. Besides the Turkish deputy prime minister, a number of other officials are expected to attend the launch ceremony.

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