Comprehensive mass transit plan for City deliberated at Ruda

By Our Correspondent
April 18, 2024
Punjab Transport Minister Bilal Akbar Khan gestures during a meeting on March 19, 2024. — Facebook/Bilal Akbar Khan . Official

LAHORE: A meeting convened under the directions of Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz at the Ravi Urban Development Authority (Ruda) headquarters heralded a new era in transportation planning for Lahore and its environs.


Chaired by Minister of Transport & Mass Transit, Bilal Akbar, the meeting brought together key stakeholders to formulate a comprehensive integrated mass transit plan aimed at addressing the burgeoning challenges of urban mobility.

In the wake of Lahore's escalating congestion, marked by a 3.06pc increase in the population index in 2024 and an average Traffic Congestion Index (TCI) of 21.72 over the last 30 days, Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz emphasised the imperative for innovative solutions beyond traditional flyovers and underpasses. This directive underscores her commitment to ushering in a new era of sustainable and efficient transportation infrastructure across Punjab's major cities.

This initiative aims to alleviate traffic congestion and enhance connectivity, ensuring smoother commutes for residents and commuters alike. Drawing upon previous studies, including the 2016 TMA recommendations for green, orange, blue, and purple lines, as well as the implementation of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, stakeholders deliberated on a unified approach to transportation planning. A subsequent meeting has been slated to delve deeper into travel trends and ridership patterns per hour, informing strategic decision-making processes.

From PCBDA's standpoint, proposals include the integration of the metro bus service with green and blue lines, alongside the introduction of electric buses and dedicated bicycle tracks. A comprehensive traffic impact study has been commissioned to gauge the efficacy of proposed measures and optimize resource allocation.

Embracing Transit Oriented Development (TOD) principles, the development blueprint for Ruda envisages feeder routes such as BRT, blue, and orange lines. This holistic approach encompasses 13 interconnected routes, 13 interchanges, 9 parking depots, 2 freight terminals, and a railway track traversing Ruda’s jurisdiction. Additionally, plans include the establishment of 15 docking stations for ferries and small boats, fostering multimodal connectivity.

Minister of Transport & Mass Transit, Bilal Akbar, has spearheaded efforts to craft a comprehensive five-year plan, underpinned by a 30-year strategic vision for transportation. This forward-looking approach seeks to future-proof infrastructure investments and ensure sustainable urban development.

The meeting was attended by a constellation of high-profile dignitaries and experts, including Chairman Ruda and PCBDA, Syed Azfar Ali Nasir, Secretary of Transport & Mass Transit Department, and representatives from various relevant departments and authorities.

In closing, CEO Ruda, Imran Amin, expressed gratitude to all esteemed participants for their invaluable contributions and reiterated the commitment to realising a transformative mass transit vision for Lahore.