LAHORE - Even after failing to introduce a proper network of buses in over a decade, the Lahore Transport Company (LTC) has shifted its focus to another business, Taxi service.
Not only the need of millions of commuters was ignored, the LTC has allowed a foreign company to run cabs in town.
The initiative of Punjab government was widely welcomed by city’s elite amid the cries of millions who can’t afford taxi . Let alone those who use their feet; they are un-employed.
The transport department, which also regulates the cab affairs across the province, allowed a Turkish company to ply 100 yellow cabs in first phase with rates of Rs120 per three kilometer.
This company is already accumulating millions of rupees everyday in terms of subsidy provided by Punjab government on metro bus service as it plies buses at the multi-billion track between Gajumatta and Shahdrah.
Instead of inducting more buses or improving the condition of already crumbling situation of public transport , the company’s fresh move to run taxies is beyond understanding especially when the cab business is no success story.
The government sponsored yellow cab schemes exist no more. Those yellow cab owners are using them for private use. City’s taxi stands are almost out of sight while mere five to six cabs could be seen parked over there.
“We need more buses and dedicated lanes at every route. We can’t afford such mini transport service as the road capacity in Lahore has poorly shrunk due to mess of private cars, mini vans, motorbikes and auto rickshaws,” said a transport department official.
Lahore , the city of 10 million people needs more than 2,000 buses for millions of commuters. Various private companies, mostly foreign, ply around 300 buses at city routes under LTC which is actually responsible for nearly everything related to transport .
Some of the routes are completely lacking public transport , while local transporters are least interested to invest in urban transport of the city.
Since its inception in 2001, the LTC has badly failed to improve the public transport system in the city.
Company’s CEO Khawaja Haider Latif was repeatedly contacted to know his side of the story his phone was unanswered.
Its spokesperson, however, defended the company’s move to introduce cabs in Lahore . He said the investors would be encouraged in this field.