Islamabad - The local government in Islamabad has decided to launch electrical buses in the city to provide modern transport facilities to the residents of the federal capital.

With the increase in population of Islamabad, the government, in order to cater future transport requirements, is launching the environment-friendly and cost effective bus service. Initially, the terminals for these buses would be constructed at Rawat, Kashmir Highway, Tarramri Chowk, Golra Chowk, Pirwadhai and Bara Kahu. The decision was presented during a meeting chaired by Mayor Islamabad Sheikh Anser Aziz where he said that Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) is working on a project to launch electrical buses in the city. The meeting discussed different options and suggestions for ensuring better transport in the city.

Highlighting the environmental benefits of electrically operated buses, he said that such a service would reduce the pollution caused by diesel or petrol vehicles and preserve the green character of the city. After the construction of first few terminals, more terminals would be constructed in other parts of the city as per need and requirement. According preliminary plan, these buses would ply on different routes including Rawat to Faisal Mosque via Islamabad Expressway, Bara Kahu to Margalla Avenue via 7th Avenue, Pirwadhai to IJP Metro Bus Station, Nelor to Khanna Interchange, Taramri Chowk to Aabpara and from Golra Chowk to Kashmir Highway (Chaman Metro Bus Station). According to the MCI officials, estimated cost of the project and other formalities are being finalized and proposals of renowned firms are being evaluated so that residents of the city could be provided this facility at the earliest.

After assuming officer, mayor of the city had promised the residents a “decent public bus service”. A modern public transport system is needed to reduce the traffic of private vehicles on main jobs. Besides overcrowding the city’s main arteries, the commercial hubs such as Blue Area, Supermarket, Jinnah Super, Aabpara, the district courts in F-8 Markaz and G-9 Markaz face a paucity of parking space.

In 2017, MCI had prequalified four firms including Daewoo, Al-Raziq, Faisal Movers and Al-Barak to take up the project. However, after prequalification, no further action was taken to get the project rolling due to shortage of funds. The CDA and MCI officials had jointly prepared a PC-1 for the project, which envisaged Rs1.9 billion outlay for the procurement of over 100 buses and the development of 164 bus stops along the six routes. The authorities are yet to obtain federal government’s approval to provide a subsidy on the project, along the lines of the subsidy provided to the metro bus project in Rawalpindi and Islamabad, according to the MCI officials. Some of the proposed bus routes will also feed the Rawalpindi-Islamabad metro bus service.

The passengers of public transport face problems especially in morning rush hours when they find all the seats occupied.

The transporters are also not kind to the commuters. Thousands of people commute between Islamabad and Rawalpindi on a daily basis. In the absence of a modern public transport service, they have no other option but to be at the mercy of private transporters.