The Rawalpindi-citizens have asked the authorities of starting bus, van service for new Islamabad airport for facilitating the passengers.
A project for the public facilitation of the passengers from Rawalpindi to the new Islamabad International Airport in air-conditioned buses was announced by the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) in the month of April this year however it was delayed due to the disagreement between the transporters and the administration.
The RTA has planned to begin a bus service to the airport, operating in two locations in the city which includes Rawat and Koral Chowk.
One route announced was from Rawat via Katcheri Chowk—Saddar—Peshawar Road—Chor Chowk—Pirwadhai Mor—Golra Mor—Chungi 26 and Motorway Chowk before going to the new Islamabad International Airport.
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The other route was from Koral Chowk to the Benazir Bhutto International Airport, then to Ammar Chowk—Saddar—Peshawar Road and then at the new airport.
The firm has announced the fare of thirty rupees from one station to the other with monthly cards at a cost of two thousand five hundred rupees for the regular travellers.
In the initial phase, 20 buses were expected to operate between the new and the old airport while picking up passengers from ten pre-designed stops between Rawat and the new airport. The fare on the buses was set at two hundred rupees from the old to the new airport. Passengers travelling from Rawat to the old airport were paying seventy rupees, while the passengers travelling from the Rawat to the new airport were to give two hundred and seventy rupees.
A bus was expected to leave from the station after every fifteen minutes. Owing to the shortage of time and resources, the authority initially had plans of operating the service through a private transport firm.
But, the service with pre-defined stops which did not imitate to the behavioural patterns of the locals annoyed the transporters who wanted more stops near Rawat and the airport so that more passengers could be loaded, and the returns could be increased per trip.
The situation got worse when the RTA failed to establish a proper stop for the buses in Rawat after the administration refused to give land for the purpose.
This all has created a problem for the passengers heading to the airport as they now have to hire taxis which charges them two thousand rupees in fares. The taxi fares could go up to three thousand rupees at night.