The metro bus is frequented by a large number of people from the twin cities. — File photo
The metro bus is frequented by a large number of people from the twin cities. — File photo

RAWALPINDI: The number of daily passengers using the Rawalpindi-Islamabad metro bus has fallen from 120,000 to 100,000 following the increase in fare, the Rawalpindi commissioner was informed on Wednesday.

Metro bus fares have been increased from Rs20 to Rs30 per person.

Rawalpindi Commissioner retired Capt Saqib Zafar was briefed by the Punjab Masstransit Authority (CDA) during his visit to metro bus stations and the command and control centre in Saddar.

Daily passengers decreased following increase in fare, commissioner told

Mr Zafar inspected facilities provided to passengers at bus stations and was given a detailed presentation.

A senior official who attended the meeting told Dawn that the commissioner was concerned by the non-functional elevators and escalators at 24 bus stations in the twin cities.

There are a total of 83 elevators and 83 escalators in Rawalpindi’s 10 and Islamabad’s 14 stations, but most of them are out of order.

The commissioner asked the authorities to finish repairing elevators and escalators quickly to facilitate passengers, particularly those who are disabled or elderly.

The meeting was informed that the authority has hired four companies to repair and maintain platforms, stations and the elevated metro bus track, and contracts have been awarded.

The commissioner said work should be completed as soon as possible without compromising on quality. He said asphalt work, road drainage and beautification should be carried out.

He also asked about the number of buses in operation, and was told that there are 68 air conditioned buses in operation but the number of passengers has fallen following the increase in bus fare.

Buses are parked at a depot near Peshawar Mor that is spread over 16.5 acres to accommodate 100 buses. Buses travel from Saddar to Pakistan Secretariat in 48 minutes, the meeting was informed.

Mr Zafar said the bus authority should expedite any pending construction while taking safety measures, and the government was providing all available resources to improve infrastructure without delay.

Published in Dawn, September 12th, 2019