MULTAN, Dec 6: The franchised city bus service is expected to become operational in Multan before Eid.

After introducing the franchised transport service in Lahore and Rawalpindi, the Punjab government had started to start the service in other big cities.

In October, an agreement was signed between the provincial government and a transport company, Khan Brothers, to launch the franchised city bus service in Multan. It was decided that the company would ply a fleet of 100 buses on seven routes in the city.

The service named as KB Metro Service will be introduced phase-wise on various city routes. Initially, some 18 buses will be introduced on two main routes. The first route will be from Dera Adda to the General Bus Stand, while the second has yet to be decided. The bus service management vows to set some 100 buses moving on intra-city routes within a year.

When contacted, the Regional Transport Authority secretary said the franchised company would engage 50 buses within two months of its operation. He said there would be four stages of fare — Rs3, Rs5, Rs7 and Rs8. He said, however, the slab might be revised for inter-city routes as people from Shujaabad and Muzaffargarh were demanding to extend the bus service to their areas as well.

He said the firm had been given the premises of the defunct Government Transport Service bus stand of Dera Adda on lease to set up terminals, workshop and other offices.

The RTA secretary said currently some 400 to 450 wagons were plying on city routes. These wagons would be gradually replaced with buses on franchised routes with a proportion of one bus against five wagons.

He said the wagons in poor condition would be done away with in the first stage by cancelling their route permits. “When the franchised company starts functioning with its full strength, the wagons will be allowed to provide service only on routes other than the franchised,” he said.

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