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ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) will start metro bus service trial from Peshawar Mor to Islamabad International Airport (IIA) from March 15. Informed sources in the CDA told Business Recorder that six metro buses will operate from Peshawar Mor to Islamabad Airport non-stop whereas, rest of the 14 buses will operate as per routine.

The CDA will officially inaugurate the service from March 23, however, the trial will start from March 15, a CDA official further confirmed. The Peshawar Mor Central Station will function as the designated pick-up point.

A total of 20 metro buses will run on this route daily from 7am to 11pm. Due to the new route, this time frame might be increased in future. The fare on this route will be same as Rs 30 per passenger. Overall, the service will provide cheap and comfortable rides to passengers, citizens and employees travelling from Islamabad to the New Islamabad Airport. It will also solve serious problems of overloading and overcharging of public transport along this route.

The National Highways Authority (NHA) has already handed over the metro bus project from Peshawar Mor to IIA to the CDA in March 2021 after executing the construction work to run the bus service.

In 2020, the CDA got PC-1 worth Rs1.9 billion approved for procuring 30 buses and set up a ticketing, command and control system. However, the civic agency had been making efforts to get the fund release from the federal government for purchasing 30 buses.

They said once the entire project was shifted to the CDA, as a stop-gap arrangement the civic agency could request Islamabad Rawalpindi Metro Bus Service to ply a few buses on the route until the CDA procures the buses.

The NHA launched work on the 25.6-km-long track from Peshawar Mor to the IIA worth Rs16 billion in January 2017. The project was supposed to complete in August 2018. However, due to slow release of funds, the project saw delays.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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