ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has planned to start the Blue and Green Line Metro Bus Service with regular traffic until new designated tracks are constructed.
The blue line service will operate from Korang Bridge Expressway to Faizabad metro bus stop while the green line will operate from Bhara Kahu to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) stop where it will integrate with the Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metro Bus Service.
“Initially, five buses will ply on the green line and 10 on blue line in mix traffic as the CDA wants to start these services within two months,” CDA Metro Bus Service Director Nauman Sheikh said.
He said initially, both new metros would be plied on the existing expressway and Murree Road.
15 buses to be utilised for both services, CDA official says
“At a later stage, if the need arises, we will construct separate designated tracks,” he said, adding that all four metros - Rawalpindi-Islamabad and airport metros as well as the blue and green lines - will be integrated.
“Soon, a presentation will be given to the federal government and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for a final decision about both the green and blue lines,” said a CDA official, adding that frequent traffic congestion was witnessed on the two-lane Murree Road in Bhara Kahu area which was why it was decided that the buses would not go through Bhara Kahu bazaar.
“We will construct a protected u-turn and a bus terminal for green line on CDA’s acquired land, which is located near Bhara Kahu,” the official said.
After 30 buses arrive from China later this month, 15 borrowed buses will be returned to the Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metro Service. Therefore, 10 of them will be operated on the blue line and five on the green line.
CDA officials said the civic agency would have to construct two u-turns and a terminal for the green line service besides bus stops on the expressway for the blue line service.
Last month, the prime minister had inaugurated the Airport Metro Bus Service, a project which saw a three-year delay. However, on his first day in office, the prime minister got a briefing on this project and directed the CDA to inaugurate the service within five days.
Work on the 25.6km long metro bus track worth Rs16 billion was started by the PML-N government in 2017. It was supposed to be completed within a year, however, after the change of government in 2018, the project saw inordinate delay.
The project was executed by the National Highway Authority (NHA) and last year on the direction of the then federal government, the CDA took over it and started the process of procuring buses and setting up command, control and ticketing systems.
On the direction of PM Sharif, CDA made the airport route functional within five days and, now, the civic agency is taking steps to start the green and blue line metro services.
Published in Dawn, May 16th, 2022