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Lahore Bus Rapid Transit System

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27 kilometers long Lahore Bus Rapid Transit System first of its kind in the country kick started in early 2012. Prime Minister Punjab, Mian Shehbaz Sharif laid the foundation stone of mega project which will have track from Gajumata to Shahdra on Ferozpur Road which passes from center of Lahore. Estimated cost of project is 30 billion rupees much lower than rumored 70-80 billion rupees. According to newspaper, service will start on February 10, 2013. Project starts from Gajumata, a nearby town on the southern boundary of Lahore, mega city. Traveling on the 27 km long project will be free for first month of its inauguration and PKR 10 will be charged afterwards which is by far the lowest fare to travel in the city. Even 1 km traveling is charge at least PKR 10 local transporters.

 

Articulated buses will be used to handle more passenger capacity. For the project 45 buses are imported from Turkey and one bus has capacity of 185 passengers. An estimated 30 thousand passengers will travel using the mega project and the system has capacity for 112,500 passengers to travel daily. Service will start at 6 in morning and will provide service till 10 in the evening. Inspection and cleaning of track will take place on daily basis and staff will be hired for the purpose.

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Although the launching date of the project is announced by Prime Minister, but if we look into the construction work, date looks so close to complete the construction work. According to Habib Construction Services the construction company working on the project has mentioned the completion date of BRTS Lahore Package-7 (Construction of additional bridge along with Lahore Bridge) is 15th of January 2013 but according to onsite review and latest pictures available on company’s website tells the other story. Although the under construction bridge will not be used directly for BRTS but it will help pass the traffic affected by the project.

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While an underpass is being constructed at Kalma Chowk to over come the traffic load passing from Garden Town to Gulberg and opposite. Completion date mentioned on the website is 22nd February 2013 12 days later than the announced inauguration date of the bus service which is 10th February. Although the status was updated on 25th of December 2012 and construction work may have been paced up but onsite stats tells the other story. Construction work is underway 24 hours and it looks it will be completed by the end of February. In this situation, inauguration will be delayed or if take place, construction work of adjacent areas affected by the project will end after the inauguration of the project.

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Elevated track (BRTS Package-4) is almost complete but small renovation is underway and estimated to be completed by inauguration. Street lights, paint work, footpaths are complete.

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Another major affected work on the project was Model Town Underpass, for the traffic coming from Gulberg and going to Model Town Society will now pass from the underpass which is completed and opened for traffic on 11th of January 2013. 

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BRTS Command and Control Center which is being built on 5th floor of Arfa Software Technology Park, a sky scrapper along the track. According to construction company’s website’s status of 25th December 2012, the center will be completed on 3rd March 2013, 21 days later than the announced inauguration date. If all goes well and construction work speeds up, we will see a new traffic system opened for public of Pakistan on 10th of February 2013. This is really a mega project for the people of Historical Lahore.

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