Thursday April 25, 2024

PM launches much awaited Peshawar metro bus service

By News Desk
August 14, 2020


PESHAWAR: Long under siege by opposition parties for its cost overruns and delays, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) signature Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project finally plied routes across Peshawar on Thursday after it was launched by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

“I have to admit, I had my reservations about this project,” Khan said at an inauguration ceremony here, and then followed it up by describing the “third generation” travel facility as “the best metro bus project” of Pakistan.

The Prime Minister added: “On behalf of all, I want to say, Pervaiz Khattak: You were right and we were wrong,” the Prime Minister said while appreciating the defence minister, who served as the chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the PTI’s previous provincial government, for the project.

The BRT is equipped to serve up to 340,000 passengers a day. Two-hundred-twenty hybrid buses have already arrived in the city and are ready for formal operations. Khan said the electricity-diesel hybrid buses would help in lowering emissions in the city.

In addition to a main track of 27kms, the project consists of 60-km feeder routes that will connect almost the entirety of Peshawar to the BRT route.

Initially, 92 buses of 18-metre length will operate along the main corridor, while 128 small buses on seven feeder routes. The buses will operate from 0600 hours to 2200 hours without any break.

The air-conditioned buses come equipped with all modern amenities — including Wi-Fi and mobile charging stations.

At a cost of Rs70 billion, the project aims to provide safe, comfortable and affordable travel for labourers, daily-wagers, students and employees. “Whatever programme we (PTI) execute, it should benefit the common man,” Khan said.

He added: “With the low price, it can help daily wagers move from place-to-place. I’m happy about the ticket price. It will be a boon for them.”

Calling the project “a great development,” the Prime Minister said the modern transport service was the first step towards development and hoped that the BRT project would help enhance Peshawar’s per capita income and bring about prosperity making the travelling experience easier and comfortable.

Khan especially lauded the BRT fares, between Rs10 and Rs 50, which he said would be affordable for the labourers to move around in search of wage.

Earlier, the prime minister was briefed in detail about the project’s features and significance. He also inspected the bus, the control room and other facilities provided for the comfort and ease of the passengers.

Minister for Defence Pervaiz Khattak, Religious Affairs Minister Pir Noorul Haq Qadri, KP Governor Shah Farman, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and senior officials attended the ceremony.