LAHORE, June 26: Lahore Transport Company (LTC) is likely to launch bus operation by September this year on the 32km-long dedicated track being constructed currently from Gajjumata to Shahdara after completion of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project on Aug 14, it is learnt.

Officials say the LTC (a regulatory body of the city’s urban transport, which is also sharing its expertise with the BRT project management unit as planning and operation agency) is currently looking for buying the required articulated buses from various countries, mainly Turkey.

“The cost of these special buses, which were being operated in various developed countries on dedicated tracks, is about Rs30 million each and the LTC, according to its plan, wants to make the buses operational by September this year,” company’s General Manager (Communication) Amjad Bhatti told Dawn here on Tuesday.

He said as the BRT project was a ditto copy of the existing and successful BRT operations in Turkey, a Turkish consultant firm had completed its technical feasibility and design.

He said according to work protocols, the project’s components such as planning, construction, e-ticketing, operation and others were being executed by LTC, TEPA, Nespak and Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB).

He said the construction work on the BRT project was being carried out at a fast pace on Ferozepur Road, Mozang, Layton Road, Lower Mall, Data Darbar and Niazi Chowk.

Talking about e-ticketing system being introduced for the passengers under the project, Mr Bhatti said the PITB had already been working on this important component under which travel card would be issued to commuters which could be swapped at the machines installed in the buses.

He said though the existing buses being run on various city routes could also be used for the BRT, the LTC would prefer operation of the articulated vehicles.

He said the purchase of articulated buses would be through calling tenders and the laid down procedure.About 100 refurbished buses gifted by the Istanbul mayor to the Punjab government during his visit to Lahore in March, this year, the LTC official said theses buses would start arriving by the next week in batches, and each batch would comprise 25 vehicles.He said the quarters concerned were also planning to make the BRT tracks signal-free or ‘minimum signal timing corridor’ for speedier transportation of passenger.

“We are sure this modern and unique project will be a success and benefit a large number of local commuters,” he claimed, adding that the LTC would ensure that the project was run according to international standards. This project, after its completion would also give a new look to the city, he said.



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