RAWALPINDI: The metro bus will resume its service between Rawalpindi and Islamabad from Wednesday (today) after four and half months.

However, the administration has devised special standard operating procedure for the passengers and the staff.

The bus service had been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic since March 22.

Following the closure of the bus service, the government bore expenses amounting to Rs2 billion to keep the system intact.

“The Punjab Mass Transit Authority is providing Rs325 per kilometer daily to the private company for operating the buses. The government provides a subsidy of Rs2 billion annually for the metro bus service. The fare in the metro buses is Rs30 per passenger,” a senior official of the authority said.

When contacted, the authority Manager Operation Uzair Shah told Dawn that the metro bus services in Rawalpindi-Islamabad, Lahore and Multan would resume on its route from Wednesday with all the SOPs.

He said the distance would be maintained, all the passengers had to wear the masks before boarding in the buses.

“The decision was taken to protect the passengers from coronavirus. More than 125,000usedMetroBusservicebetween Rawalpindi and Islamabad daily,” he said.

“Tissues will be provided to passengers who do not have mask. Though we will not offload the passenger without mask, he will be instructed to be careful next time,” he said.

He said that the PMA had started fumigating all buses and metro bus stations to avoid spread of coronavirus.

He said that the every bus would be fumigated after completing the route from Saddar to Islamabad Secretariat.

He said the sanitary staff had been asked to clean the places which are frequently touched by hands through sanitisers. He said that all the measures had been taken with the help of service providers.

Published in Dawn, August 12th, 2020