UPDATE (July 29, 2021): Good news for the residents of Islamabad. The capital city is about to get a new transport service on different routes, according to the Capital Development Authority (CDA).
CDA Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed made the announcement during a meeting with all the board members of the authority. As per the details available in news reports, the project’s been tentatively called “Islamabad Bus Service.” It will comprise 30 buses initially and 64 stops (stations). The service will cover the following routes:
- Soan Interchange to Faisal Masjid
- Bhara Kahu to Faiz Ahmed Faiz Metro Bus Station
- Tarnol Railway Station to N-5 Metro Bus Station
The tentative schedule for Islamabad Bus Service is from Monday to Friday 6:30 am to 9 pm; on Saturday and Sunday, it will run from 8 am to 10 pm. Timings are subject to change.
CDA will ensure the implementation of stringent security measures for the passengers of Islamabad Bus Service, as well as the provision of toilets and snack shops. As for the buses, they’ll be air-conditioned with a seating capacity of 70 people; there will also be priority seats for women and differently-abled people.
Islamabad Bus Service is expected to be open to the public in December.
Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan, with a population of just over a million, as per the 2017 census. The city, the 9th largest in Pakistan, boasts of a high standard of living, and convenient access to public transport adds to the quality of life. In the past few years, the government has introduced numerous projects to facilitate residents and visitors in getting around with ease. Moreover, some initiatives are in place to further enhance the quality of public transport in Islamabad. Learning about the public transport in Islamabad can make your life easier in the capital city.
Modes of Public Transport in Islamabad
The most widely available modes of public transport in Islamabad include:
Rickshaws and Taxis
Taxi is probably the best way to get around Islamabad. The city is smaller compared to other urban centers in Pakistan, and travelling by car can help you reach your destination quicker. Do note that when hailing a rickshaw or taxi, you need to negotiate the fare beforehand. These modes of transport are easily available in public areas.
A number of ride-hailing apps also operate in Islamabad. However, you need to check the availability of these apps before you decide to use them.
Islamabad locals prefer using taxis and rickshaws when travelling over short distances. However, for long journeys, they prefer going by bus. Hence, it is important that you know about the bus routes in Islamabad to enjoy hassle-free commuting.
In terms of travelling by bus, the options available include the metro bus, local buses, and wagons. Let’s explore these options in detail.
The Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metro bus serves Islamabad and its twin city, Rawalpindi. The metro service is yet to cover the entire city, so reaching some areas of Islamabad using the Metro bus is not possible. The metro bus Islamabad route is constantly expanding, and will eventually cover the whole of Islamabad. The approximately 25 km-long metro bus can also help residents travel from Islamabad to Rawalpindi. Metro bus opened its doors to residents in 2015, and further work is ongoing to offer further convenience.
The state-of-the-art Metro bus feature modern amenities, including free Wi-Fi and air-conditioning. Despite this, passengers only have to pay a fixed fare.
What you should know about Metro Bus Islamabad Routes?
Initially, 60 buses formed the fleet for the Metro bus, with eight buses added down the line. Each bus spans 18 meters, and the buses run between 14 stations in the city. The central route spans from the Secretariat station to IJP road, covering a distance of around 14 km, while the metro bus routes extend to Rawalpindi. More than 100,000 people use this service on a daily basis.
The Punjab government announced the introduction of feeder buses for the Metro bus islamabad, which are yet to start operations. The feeder buses will help residents in reaching the Metro bus stations so they can start their journey. There is no guarantee regarding when the service will commence.
The operating hours for the Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metro bus are the same as that for metro bus Lahore and metro bus Multan.
Central Line Operating Hours
The central line starts at 6.15 AM and continues till 10 PM at night.
The headway between buses ranges from 2.25 to 3 minutes.
The metro Islamabad price depends on the type of ticket you purchase. The Metro bus project offers e-Ticketing for public transport in Islamabad, offering the utmost convenience for residents. The ticketing options include:
Once you are aware of the bus routes in Islamabad, you can buy a ticket at the on-site ticket booth from a station, or use the self-service Ticket Vending Machines (TVM) that covers a single, one-way trip. The ticket costs PKR 20 and allows entry into the platform. Tapping the ticket on the entry point provides access. Upon completion of the journey, passengers have to deposit the token at the exit point before leaving the platform.
Metro Bus Cards
Depending on the frequency of travelling, residents can also purchase a Metro bus card. If you travel regularly on the Metro Bus Islamabad route, you can get the card by putting down a safety deposit of PKR 130. You can return the card to the transit authority and receive the security deposit at any point. Any damage to the card could void your deposit. You can travel for up to PKR 1,000 on the card by loading balance, via a TVM or ticket booth. You can avoid having to wait in line to buy a ticket by opting for a card instead.
Buying a one-way ticket allows you to avail the Metro islamabad for one hour and 15 minutes. If you stay on beyond that time, you will have to pay extra.
If you use a Metro bus card, you can pay a one-time cost for your complete trip, i.e. up to three journeys, thanks to the integrated fare policy. As per the policy
- A single journey costs PKR 15
- Two journeys cost PKR 20
- Three journeys cost PKR 25
The time available for each transfer is up to 30 minutes. You will have to tap your card at the exit point before 30 minutes in order to benefit from the discount.
Local Buses and Wagons
The Islamabad Capital Territory Administration operates buses to serve the local community. As of 2018, there are 15 operational routes along which the buses run, covering the length and breadth of Islamabad. The fare for bus travel depends on the distance you want to go. For instance, travelling up to 4 km costs PKR 15 while journeys longer than 30 km cost PKR 35. The rates remain standard regardless of the route. For example, you can travel along Route 121, from Haj Complex to Faisal Mosque, a distance of 28.6 km, for PKR 35.
When exploring bus routes in islamabad, you should also know that a local network of smaller vehicles, known as wagons, also serves the local residents. These wagons operate along 14 designated routes, covering the twin cities.
The capital city is known for its well-planned development projects and roads. It is not surprising to note that people from all areas of the country are exploring properties in islamabad to embrace high-life living.
If you’ve just moved to islamabad, you are sure to enjoy quality living at its best. Apart from a convenient local transport system and well-developed infrastructure, there are plenty of entertainment options available from adventure camping to paragliding. Don’t forget to check out the most happening places in Islamabad for adventure seekers to make your stay exciting, the next time you are traveling to Islamabad.
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