The Capital Development Authority (CDA) is all set to start the metro bus service between Peshawar Mor and Islamabad International Airport from March 2022.
Work on the project had been completed to provide modern public transport to the citizens of Islamabad. The National Highway Authority, which has laid the infrastructure of the metro bus service, will soon establish ticketing, security and surveillance systems along the route and a command control centre prior to the start of service.
The CDA has prepared the project concept of the project and the government has approved it.
The NHA has approved hiring consultants to start work on road safety works, signboards, cat eyes, lane markings, missing light fangs and fixtures, park and ride facilities, lane separation from NA-5 to the airport Mor, walk-through gates and package scanners etc.
Sources said that the CDA was in the process of procuring 45 buses that will be run on the route. A separate depot will be established at Peshwar Mor where the metro buses will be parked, the sources said.
In this regard, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) President Shakeel Munir said that decent public transport was the biggest issue the citizens in Islamabad were facing.
He said the countries like France, Germany and London have the best transport system to promote tourism.
Talking to The Express Tribune, he said the metro bus service from Peshawar Mor to and from the Islamabad airport was a great project and it should be completed at the earliest.
He said that such projects should also be launched on other routes to decrease the traffic pressure on the main roads.
The citizens including Muhammad Faheem, Raja Jehangir, Ghaffar Khan and Raja Khalid said that taxi and cab drivers charge a single fare between R1000 and Rs1,500 from Islamabad and Rawalpindi to the airport in the absence of public transport. They said that the project should have been started much earlier to facilitate the citizens, who were being fleeced by cab drivers.
The metro bus route starts from Saddar in Rawalpindi and culminates at the Pak Secretariat in Islamabad with 24 metro stations lining the route. There is a metro bus depot workshop in Islamabad and a Metro Command and Control Centre located in Rawalpindi.
The foundation stone for the 23-kilometre project had been laid by deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif in March 2014 to serve residents of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad — most of the residents of the former work in the latter and have to commute to work daily.