The lack of funds and vehicles has forced the Punjab Masstransit Authority (PMA) to discontinue an express metro bus service launched last year.
The decision has been criticized by the commuters, stating that the ‘non-stop’ bus service saved at least 20 minutes of their time.
The express metro bus service, connecting Saddar in Rawalpindi to the Pakistan Secretariat in Islamabad, operated with just seven stops. On the other hand, the regular bus service comprising of 24 stops between the two cities takes approximately 50 minutes.
According to the PMA General Manager Operations Uzair Shah, out of a total of 68 vehicles, seven metro buses were designated for the express project. However, despite a positive response initially, the metro express service proved financially unsustainable.
It compelled the PMA to shift back to the regular bus service. “Now, all metro buses between Rawalpindi and Islamabad will stop at all 24 bus stations,” he added.
Shah claimed that the 6th Road bus station will likely become functional on February 3 after the completion of some minor work.
The delay in opening the 6th Road bus station might also be attributed to the divisional administration’s decision to hold a ‘special function’ to inaugurate the station. The function would be attended by the Caretaker CM Punjab Mohsin Naqvi.
However, according to a senior official in the commissioner’s office, the divisional administration has failed to get dates for the chief minister’s availability in the garrison city.