DesPardes + PKonweb

TRIAL RUN: Lahore ‘Orange’ to Handle 73 Million Commuters Annually

The Orange Metro will run on electricity (Eco-friendly) instead of diesel as originally contemplated — the city has huge air pollution issues.

DESPARDES — Tuesday afternoon the Lahore Metro Train hit the rails for a trial run with some government officials on board to experience the maiden ride of the mass transit commute powered with high-voltage electricity.

Dubbed “Orange Line” Metro Train, the above-ground and below-ground subway is expected to handle about 200,000 passengers daily, and they will be able to cover 27 kilometers each way within 45 minutes.

The train will run on electricity (Eco-friendly) instead of diesel as originally contemplated — the city has huge air pollution issues.

With more than 200,000 commuters daily expected to make round-robbin trips (once fully operational) to the mega city, the number scales up to more than 73 million passengers annually.

Economic managers say Orange Line would add value to the province’s urban manpower demand-supply chain and its future revenue stream if operated as a ‘profit center’– annual estimate could exceed Rs1.5 billion or Rs2.0 billion.

Heavily subsidized though, the in the state-of-the-art subway transit system (similar to any subway system worldwide) has been designed for 17 stops (including few miles underground) within the populous city — it has seats for 200 and standing space for 800 commuters each way.

The automated rapid transit system in Punjab’s capital was initiated by PML-N led government (2013-2017) and had hit some bureaucratic and legal snags including cost overruns — “part of the delivery process on a fast-tracked initiative”, some professionals say.

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