According to reports, Punjab Mass Transit Authority (PMTA) has been directed by the Punjab Government to see if it is feasible to launch hybrid buses for the metro bus system in Lahore. If launched, the hybrid bus initiative can be very helpful for the PMTA and the environment. The PMTA can save a lot of money by saving fuel, and there will be less air pollution due to hybrid buses.
This initiative surfaced after the government started looking into curbing pollution and to control the whole smog issue that has been grappling the urban area of Lahore. The Federal Government has also set targets to convert public and other modes of transportation to electric or hybrid power. There is a new Electric Vehicle (EV) policy being drafted by the Ministry of Industries and Production (MoIP) and the Engineering Development Board (EDB). This policy is also focusing on making the country pollution free and reduce our dependence on oil imports.
The Punjab Government has also asked the PMTA to issue tenders for procuring new hybrid buses for the metro. These tenders are to be issued by the PMTA by the next month as the Punjab Government wants to have a new agreement for procuring these buses. Moreover, the government also wants to have new tenders at a lower price than the current ones. The current agreement with vendors has been going on for the past eight years. Subsidies have been given in excess of PKR 13 billion to the vendor managing procurement and maintenance of buses for the metro bus project in Lahore. The new agreement will help in cost reduction for the provincial government.
The Punjab Government also needs to invest in hybrid buses for other routes as well. Shifting public transportation to electric or hybrid buses can make a huge difference for the environment, and fares can be also be dropped significantly. Just like the new EV policy, a policy for both public and private transportation can set things into perspective and can attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
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