LAHORE: The Punjab Mass transit Authority (PMA) has started working to reduce Lahore Orange Line and Metrobus System fares in Lahore, Rawalpindi, and Multan.
After Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has asked for giving relief from the public following an unprecedented hike in the prices of petroleum products, fruits and vegetables, and commodities.
“Yes, the government wants to provide relief to the people by significantly lowering public transportation fares.” As a result, we will consider this problem at a meeting of the authority later this week,” a senior official familiar with the situation told Dawn on Monday.
“Because we expect the PMA to make a positive judgment in the meeting, we will get this decision (if made) authorized by the cabinet,” the official, who requested anonymity, added.
The PMA had previously begun working on a plan to adopt a distance-based fare scheme rather than a flat fare (supported fare of Rs40) on the Orange Line train, but the idea was unable to be implemented due to administrative, functional, and political concerns.
Sharif stated that the government will reduce public transport expenses. The government believes that doing so would encourage people to use public transport, which would allow for fuel savings.
The coalition government has requested that the PMA reduce fares and present a proposal to the authority and cabinet.
He stated that lowering fares would need the government to enhance subsidies for the orange train, metro, and speedo bus operations. He stated that at the moment, a subsidized Rs30 fare is charged in metro buses and Rs15 on feeder routes.
According to another official source, the government’s support for the operation of such modern transportation systems is a targeted subsidy intended for the poor. The IMF also favors providing subsidies to the impoverished rather than those with no financial or economic problems.