For Lahore, whose commuters, many thousand in numbers had to make do with decrepit vans, ramshackle smoke emitting buses, waiting indefinitely at stops and languishing in these for hours even when they had to travel short distances, life itself had become unbearable. The roads were in a mess; an average urban dweller’s nightmare whenever he/she had to commute on these overloaded mini-vans, commonly referred to as the ‘mini-death capsules’. With the commencement of the Metro Bus Service on Sunday inaugurated by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, the city has been blessed with the country’s first rapid transit bus service that would ply comfortable buses on one of the busiest routes from Gujjumata to Shahdara.

The service had become a dire necessarily given that Lahore’s population had grown well over ten million. A separate road in the middle of the ordinary highway has been built a large part of which is a bridge, itself a marvel of engineering, completed in record time. Elevators for the elderly add an extra feather to the project’s cap. The feeding links to the service must be made operational before the project’s true usefulness can be realised. In the few countries where this has been under use, it has turned out to be a triumph of public transport and there is surely no reason why it will not succeed in Lahore, all the more so when a team of qualified professionals has been set up to run the service. Well if there is anything tangible that the people can see and take it as a symbol of their success, it surely is the MBS.