Wednesday October 20, 2021

Over 50,000 travel by Orange Train on first day

October 28, 2020

LAHORE: More than 50,000 passengers travelled by Orange Train on the first day (Monday) which is one-fifth of the estimate of Punjab Mass Transit Authority (PMA). The PMA was expecting daily commuters number 250,000.

However, the PMA was expecting that the number of travellers would be gradually increasing as the fare was very attractive for the commuters on the route other than the time securing. Once the metro feeder buses routes will be operational along the OLMT route the passengers flow will increase substantially. Further, the facility of park and ride will also be introduced likewise Lahore metro bus pattern to reduce the private vehicles load on the OLMT route.

According to an official of metro feeder buses, around 200 feeder buses are plying on different routes in Lahore. These buses are feeding passengers to metro bus route. However, 400 more feeder buses will arrive next month which will enable to launch new routes for OLMT too. Currently, motorcycle rickshaws are also plying on the roads in the City and started playing role of feeders for the OLMT route for time until the feeder buses will arrive. Once the new feeder buses arrive, these rickshaws will be gradually eliminated from the City as these are substantially contributing to the pollution. The government is working to create alternate source of earning for these rickshaw owners while only those rickshaws will be allowed which will pass the fitness test and approved specifications.

The government has already advertised to regulate these rickshaws in Lahore on the instructions of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Under this plan, Lahore has been divided into 10 zones with dedicated colour and the drivers will be bound to paint the roof of their vehicle with the colour for the zone and the route they got registered. They include Wagah, Shalimar, Samanabad, Ravi, Nishtar, Iqbal Town, Gulberg, Data Ganj Bakhsh, Cantonment and Aziz Bhatti zones. Further, 62 routes are issued for these rickshaws. These rickshaws have to get registered with the Lahore Transport Company (LTC) and get approved route licence.

The present government started on a plan to regulate these rickshaws but could not remove them as it would have huge political and economic consequences. The smog controlling committee reviewed the motorcycle rickshaw case and reached the decision of regulating them instead of removing them abruptly, an official of smog committee said, adding that gradually these rickshaws would be removed from the city once the alternate source of earning for these rickshaw drivers created.