24 Jan 2017: PM Sharif inaugurates the Multan metro bus service. The service is said to be better than existing Metro projects in Rawalpindi and Lahore.
With this, Multan (population: 1.9 million) becomes third large city in Pakistan to have mass-transit BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) system after Lahore (population: 11 million) and Rawalpindi-Islamabad (3.1 million twin cities combined) got theirs in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
In October 2016, Punjab Metro Bus Authority started a trial run of Metro bus service in Multan. The trial service was for training of the bus drivers.
Nearly 95,000 commuters will use Multan Metro bus service everyday.
Initially, 35 imported buses will be used for the service. Each bus can carry up to 190 passengers.
A private firm – Daewoo Express – will run the bus service for the time being. In other cities, Metro service is being run by government setups.
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The Multan Metro bus route is 18.5km long, with 12.5km elevated section.
Multan Metro has 21 bus stations, with 14 stations at elevated and seven stations at ground level.
The bus stations have been constructed with Multan’s extreme hot and cold weather in mind.
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Like Lahore and Islamabad, passengers will pay Rs 20 fare for one-way journey.
The Multan Metro project started in May 2015. It met some obstacles and caused about six months’ delay.
More than 260 kanals of private land was secured for this project at a cost of over Rs 3 billion. Rs 4.23 billion were paid to the project affectees.
The Multan Metro bus project was completed at a cost of Rs 28.9 billion.
The Multan Metro bus service will provide jobs to 2,600 people.
In Lahore, the Metro bus service – the first in the country – was inaugurated on 10 February 2013. The 27km Lahore Metro cost Rs 30 billion. Through 27 stations, nearly 200,000 passengers travel on Lahore Metro BRT buses every day.
In Islamabad, the 23km Metro bus service started on 4 June 2015. The inauguration went five months behind schedule because of the 126-day dharna (sit-in) by opposition party PTI of Imran Khan. The Islamabad Metro cost Rs 45 billion. Through 24 stations, nearly 135,000 passengers travel on Islamabad Metro BRT buses every day.
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Multan Metro bus route and stations
- BZU Bus Station
- Beaconhouse School
- Markaz Ibnul Qasim Al-Islami
- Northern Bypass
- Altaf Market/Shalimar Colony
- Nasheman/Sabzazar Colony
- Chungi No. 6/Gulgasht Colony
- Tehsil Chowk/Usmanabad
- Chungi No. 9
- Qasim Fort
- Daulat Gate/Fish Market
- Aam Khas Bagh
- BCG Chowk
- Peoples Colony
- Vehari Chowk
- General Bus Stand
- Jinnah Park
- Shah Rukne Alam
- Kumharanwala Chowk
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Metro Bus Station at Chungi No 9, Multan