Transportation is a movement of people and goods from one location to another. Throughout history, the economic wealth and military power of a people or a nation have been closely tied to efficient methods of transportation. Transportation provides access to natural resources and promotes trade, allowing a nation to accumulate wealth and power.
Transportation is vital to a Pakistan’s economy. Perceiving the importance of this transport, Punjab government has recently taken an initiative of making the transportation system between the Twin Cities effective and more convenient for the citizens. For this purpose, the government has initiated the Metro bus project, which provides cheap and comfortable travelling between Rawalpindi and Islamabad to approximately 135,000 people on a daily basis. 64 comfortable buses for the project are imported from China with the capacity of 108 passengers, whereas Turkey has helped Pakistan in completing this grand project. A separate route of 22 km with 27 different stops in both the cities has been prepared for the project and no vehicle other than the metro buses is allowed to travel via this route. Following are some needs and the benefits of the metro bus service:-
1. Cheap Rates:
Islamabad being the capital city is a centre of many offices as well as field jobs and people from all over Pakistan (especially the educated individuals) seek the employment opportunities here. These individuals then rent apartments at cheaper places in Rawalpindi in order to save their money, but they tended to lose a considerable amount of their salaries due to the daily travelling. The reason, high travelling rates of the private transportation. But with the arrival of the metro bus, the issues of high travelling charges among the Twin Cities have been solved because metro provides comfortable travelling at a very cheap and affordable cost.
The metro bus corridor within the premises of Rawalpindi is 8.6km elevated structure while the 14km in Islamabad area is at-grade, but, is made entirely signal free by constructing a grade separation at various levels. This has reduced the distance between both cities because the time taken by the passengers to reach their destinations has been lessened. Besides, no vehicle other than the metro bus is allowed to take this route because the primary aim of this service was to provide a flexible journey to the passengers within a limited time.
3. Class Difference:
Metro bus has eradicated the class difference in terms of travelling within the Twin Cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Every person whether a rich businessman, an army official, a normal civilian or a poor labor aim to use metro bus not only because of the cheap rates but also because of the secure, healthy and comfortable environment provided by the MBS (Metro Bus Service). Hence, the use of metro has eradicated the discrimination and differences among rich and poor to a greater extent.
4. Free WiFi:
The Punjab government has provided free WI-Fi service to the passengers who travel via metro bus so that people may enjoy free web surfing and remain in contact with their loved ones during their journey. This facility has fascinated many passengers especially the young lot particularly the students.
5. Traffic problem:
While the metro project was under development, many people particularity the residents of Rawalpindi including me criticised it a lot because of the traffic overload at the Murree road but with the completion of the project, many of us have admitted that we were wrong. The project has gained a lot of popularity and the main issue of unnecessary traffic overload faced by the residents of Murree road has been solved by the construction of the flyover. Moreover, due to the elimination of the traffic overload and the formation of fly over, the probability of road accidents has also been reduced to a larger extent.
6. Clean Environment:
A pause on the great air pollution has been put up due to the use of the metro bus. Because many people who previously preferred the public transportation or their personal transportation means now prefer the metro bus service as a result of which reduction of pollutants in the environment is seen.
This great project has also proved beneficial in providing opportunities for employment to the citizens. Many people have been appointed in security, engineering and other sectors related to the project. Moreover, it has also provided jobs to a large number of labors as well.
Metro bus project has unyielding security due to which passengers feel safe and secure. A considerable large number security official for the project have been hired who have been trying their best to take the security measures to the highest level. For this purpose, retired military officials are also recruited and are provided with modern arms, security vans, and communication devices. A special control room with modern gadgets and 120 security cameras has been installed at different points on the metro routes and stops. Besides, ten LCDs are also linked with all the security cameras. Video recording report is prepared on a daily basis and is dispatched to the district and police officials. These security measures not only keep an eye over terrorism but also ensure that every single person especially women and children have a safe journey and they do not encounter people who treat them badly.
Hence, I think metro busses project is one of the biggest initiative of our government which not only provides the citizens with safe and healthy travelling but also portrays a positive picture of Pakistan where development projects are given priorities. But I would also say one thing more, along these development projects government must also take steps in improving the education and health sector because when these three sectors will flourish, only then we will be able to emerge as a powerful nation.