(UPDATE: Jan.25, 2021): The Capital Development Authority (CDA) will plant saplings in March on greenbelts on both sides of the Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metro bus route in a bid to fight traffic pollution in Islamabad.
Apart from refurbishing defunct public transport systems, the government of Pakistan is working continuously to establish modern systems of transportation in the country. Being the capital, Islamabad has benefited the most in this regard. Take, for example, the Metro Bus Islamabad. The project has made commuting quite easy and hassle-free between the twin cities and the best part is it will continue to expand. Let us look into the details of the project:
Facts about Metro Bus Islamabad
- The Islamabad Metro Bus system comprises two routes, which are broadly categorized as Phase 1 and Phase 2
- The Metro Bus network’s Phase 1 covers 23 kilometers between Pak Secretariat in Islamabad and Saddar in Rawalpindi
- The second phase of Islamabad Metro route covers around 25.6 kilometers from Peshawar Morr Interchange to New Islamabad International Airport.
- The system uses an e-ticketing system
- Islamabad-Rawalpindi Metro Bus cost around PKR 44.8 billion, featuring 24 bus stations
- Fixed PKR 30 as one-way fare charged to the transporters. It has not changed despite fluctuations in petrol prices
- In total there are 68 buses out of which 60 buses are currently being used and 8 buses are kept in spare
- A private Turkish firm, Platform Turizm owns the buses
- Major costs of Metro Buses in Islamabad include operation, procurement and maintenance
- The bus drivers are also provided by the Turkish company, Platform Turizm
- Punjab Mass transit Authority (PMA) provides the drivers with schedules and routes which they have to follow
- Metro Bus Corridor’s total length is of 23 km having 8.6km elevated, 10km at grade and four kilometer trench
- Metro Islamabad transports an estimated 135,000 passengers daily
Construction of Islamabad-Rawalpindi Metro Bus system
Based on the research and different studies by the Punjab government and the Capital Development Authority, the provincial and federal governments joined hands in order to launch a Metro Bus project in the early 2010s. The purpose was to connect Islamabad and Rawalpindi – the twin cities and ease up the traffic congestion on the corridor.
On 19 January 2014, a meeting was co-chaired by the Prime Minister of Pakistan and the Chief Minister of Punjab in which the project was approved on a 50:50 sharing basis by the Federal and Punjab government. Since the government of Punjab had completed a Metro Bus project in Lahore, the Prime Minister handed over the responsibility to the Provincial government under Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA). It was decided that Punjab Metro Bus Authority (PMA) will look after the operation & maintenance once the project is completed.
The construction work for the Islamabad Metro Bus route started in February 2014 and it was completed by June 2015. Rawalpindi Development Authority was given the task of overlooking the project which cost them approximately PKR 44.31 billion. Habib Construction Services, one of the largest construction companies in Pakistan was given the responsibility of constructing the Metro Bus system. Now let’s learn more about the Metro bus Islamabad route and its stations across the twin cities.
Metro Bus stations in Islamabad
The current Islamabad Metro Bus stops are as follows:
- Marrir Chowk
- Liaquat Bagh
- Committee Chowk
- Waris Khan
- Chandni Chowk
- 6th Road
- Faiz Ahmed Faiz
- Kashmir Highway
- Stock Exchange
- 7th Avenue
- Parade Ground
- Pak Secretariat
Note: You can easily locate your nearest metro station in Islamabad with advanced GPS navigation systems like Google Maps and other related services.
Fares, timings and amenities of Metro Bus Islamabad
The Metro Bus Islamabad timings are from 6:15 in the morning to 10:00 PM at night. The Metro Bus system uses Intelligent Transportation System wand and an e-ticket system. It is managed by the Punjab Metro Bus Authority (PMBA) while managing the automated system is done through Punjab IT Board. The Metro bus Rawalpindi timings are also the same as both are the part of the same transportation system.
Apart from this, there are ticketing booths, escalators, toiletries, platform screen, turnstiles for automatic fare collection and many such amenities that help a safe and easy travel for the passengers. There is a central ITS control room present, too, which checks the entire operation of the bus rapid transit system. Passengers who commute via Metro Bus in Islamabad are satisfied because of the modern amenities like air conditioned buses and access to free wifi.
If you buy a one-way ticket it allows you to avail the service of Metro Bus in Islamabad for one hour and 15 minutes. If you decide to stay longer, you will have to pay some extra money. If you are using a Metro Bus Card then you have to pay only a one-time cost for the complete trip which includes around three trips, thanks to the integrated fare policy. The Metro Bus Islamabad contact number is (051) 111-222-627.
How to Buy token for Metro Bus in Islamabad
To avail public transportation in Islamabad, passengers must carry a Fare Media, which means a token or a Metro Bus Card. This can be purchased or recharged from the ticket office or the Ticket Vending Machine (TVM) at the various metro bus stations. To buy the token at the Ticket Vending Machine, you should first select the number of tokens, then insert the required amount – PKR 30 per token. Collect the receipt and token.
How to buy a Metro Bus Card
At the Ticket Vending Machine, select the Metro Bus Card option. Submit bank notes when the green light blinks. The Metro Bus Card costs around PKR 130. Collect the receipt and Metro Bus Card. Passengers can return the card and also reclaim the deposit, but this is applicable only when the cards are in proper working condition.
How much time does it take to pass the turnstile bay?
When the passenger taps his Metro Bus Card on the turnstile bay, they only have 30 seconds to pass through. If you do not pass in those 30 seconds the journey fare will be deducted nonetheless. Also, when you tap the card on entry and exit points, it also shows the remaining balance.
Update on Peshawar Morr to Islamabad International Airport Metro Bus project
The Metro Bus from Peshawar Morr to Islamabad International Airport is currently under construction. It has nine bus stations including G-10 Station, NUST Station, NHA Station, M1-M2 Junction Station, Grand Trunk Road Station, G-1 Station, Badana Kalan Station and Airport Station. The Metro Bus project has 12 bridges, 26 culverts and 11 underpasses.
The National Highway Authority (NHA) has requested the federal government to fund PKR 1.5 billion to complete the project. Once the Metro Bus is complete, it will facilitate travelers who complain of high transport fares as they spend around PKR 500 – PKR 1200 for their commute. The project had initially started in January 2017 and it was expected that the project will be completed by March 2018. However, up till now the project has not been completed. Peshawar Morr-Islamabad International Airport has been divided into four packages.
- Package-I: From Peshawar Morr to NUST
- Package-II: From NUST to the Grand Trunk (GT) Road
- Package-III: From Grand Trunk Road to the Interchange
- Package IV: The underpasses and bridges have been completed
Apart from the Islamabad Metro Bus route, there will be a three-lane carriageway on either side of the route, starting from Golra Morr Interchange to GT Road Interchange for the free traffic flow. It is also expected that flyovers and underpasses will be constructed on existing roads so as to provide maximum comfort and relief to the people who otherwise have to face traffic congestion.
The New Islamabad International Airport with its modern infrastructure and facilities is the largest airport in the country. People have shown great interest in properties near New Islamabad International Airport and are waiting for the Peshawar Morr to Islamabad International Airport route to become functional so that people can benefit from it.
According to a recent news report published in The Express Tribune, “Almost 90 per cent of the work has been completed as bus corridor is ready for use while the finishing work on two out of total seven bus stations was pending.”
This was our complete guide to Islamabad Metro. However, the capital city has a lot more to offer. Don’t forget to check out our piece on different public transport options in Islamabad. For more updates, keep visiting the best lifestyle blog in Pakistan. If you have any queries or suggestions, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.