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November 7, 2018

Summary farwarded to Punjab govt proposing 50 per cent raise in fare


November 7, 2018

Rawalpindi : The Metro Bus Authority (MBA) has forwarded a summary to the Punjab Government demanding it for raising fares by at least 50 per cent.

Credible source told ‘The News’ here Tuesday that the summary was forwarded to the Punjab government in the beginning of October this year. However, no decision has yet been taken in this regard by the provincial government.

If the raise is made by 50 per cent then the fares of travel from starting point to destination would be fixed Rs30. At present the travelling fare from start to last stop is Rs20 which has not been enhanced since the metro bus service has been launched in Rawalpindi-Islamabad routes four years ago.

Similarly, the sources told that the Punjab government is seriously thinking to withdraw subsidy being aided to the MBA and then raise travel fare from stop to stop under the old pattern of Public transport. The initial fare would be Rs20 from starting point to next two stops and then the fare would go up to Rs5, Rs15 and Rs20 from different stations .

Over more than two lakh passengers are benefitting per day from the metro bus service. However, the MBA is facing a loss of Rs6.2 million each day while providing transport services to the people.

The Manager of MBA, Rawalpindi, Shumaila Mohsin while reacting to the reports provided by sources told that the government of Punjab releases subsidy to MBA worth Rs2 billion annually. She also agreed that the management of MBA headed by Managing Director has proposed through a summary for increasing bus fares by 50 per cent.

Replying to a query related to recent closure of metro bus services for 3 days in Rawalpindi-Islamabad, MS. Shumaila told that the MBA faced a huge loss to the tune of Rs7.2 millions on these days. At the same time she did not agree that subsidy granted by the provincial government should not be withdrawn at any cost. Even if the fares are increased by 50 per cent or more the subsidy should not be withdrawn. If the subsidy is finished with the raise in fares then there is all out possibility of financial crisis to erupt in MBA. This transport project could even be shelved off due to financial crunch to arise if government withdraws subsidy. She said that raise in bus fares of metro by 50 per cent is affordable but at the same time continuation of paying subsidy should be done by the government to ensure survival of this transport services which is providing good services to people in all terms.

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