Car owners from all over Lahore have expressed serious concerns about the environmental impact of a public transport project in a series of newspaper articles recently. But those who travel by rickshaws disagree. This scribe spoke to the people of Lahore to ask them why they support or oppose the project.

Five reasons we need Orange train

1) Johnny cash supported the Orange Train:
The legendary late American folksinger Johnny Cash expressed support for the project as early as 1965. “Look yonder coming / coming down that railroad track,” the popular Arkansas-born country music star said in his version of the 1938 fiddle tune. “It’s that Orange Blossom Special / bringing my baby back.”

2) Communications infrastructure:
“Those of you who think we do not need a decent public transport system should try texting while sitting in a rickshaw,” a college student said. “Or just try typing the phrase ‘archaeological heritage’ in the search box on your mobile phone,” she argued, “and you will very soon begin to see my point.”

3) For the sake of posterity:
“We need a rapid transit system for the sake of posterity,” a sales executive opined. “I travel in passenger vans, sharing a 3’ by 1’ seat with three other passengers. By the time I get home, my posterity is hurting so bad you have no idea.”

4) For the sake of posterity:
“A key reason we need to work on gigantic infrastructure projects in Lahore is so that we leave something for our coming generations to protect from modernization,” a history professor believes. “If the Mughal princes had invested all their money on health and education like these liberals want, then there would have been no cultural heritage buildings for us to protect from the rapid urbanization and the harmful effects of environmental pollution,” he explained.

5) To prove its opponents wrong:
“The fundamental reason I personally believe it is important for the Orange Train to run,” said a trader who supports the government, “is so that we can invite the critics of the project aboard and throw them off the moving train.” He believes that will also be a good demonstration of the rapid speed of the train.

Five reasons we don’t need Orange train

1) What’s the point?
“I understand the train project will help commuters get from one point in the city to another point very fast,” a university graduate said, “but I really don’t get the point. Why would someone want to go from one point in the city to another? I usually hardly like to leave my room.”

2) Limited reach:
“There is a limit to where public transport, especially a train, can take you,” a schoolgirl lamented. “Can the Orange Train park right in front of the shop I want to go in? Can I yell at its driver like I can yell at mine? If not, then this project is doomed to be a failure in Lahore.”

3) Its orange:
“What kind of crappy color is that,” said a six year old schoolboy who is a keen observer of colors. “They should start pink donkey carts and lime green helicopters,” he suggested.

4) Redundancy:
“New York has a subway system, London has the Tube, even New Delhi has a metro train,” a software engineer said. “If it is so important for the poor people to use public transport, why don’t they go to New York, London, or New Delhi to use it? It may cost less than what we’re spending on building our own train.”

5) Cost benefit analysis:
“The amount of money we are spending on this project is just unacceptable, and the daily subsidy is exorbitant,” a mechanical engineer commented. “We can save a lot of money if people just shamelessly grope women in some other public place.”
Critics of the project accuse this scribe of bias. “You have so many one-liners in your articles,” one reader said, “that we can safely conclude you are a fan of monorail.”