ISLAMABAD - The newly inaugurated Metro Bus Service, termed as Orange Line, running between Peshawar Morr to New Islamabad International Airport has attracted about 61 per cent of its ‘estimated passengers’ during first month of its operations.

Though, the consultants in initial feasibility study had estimated around 60,000 passengers on this metro route per day but later the number was rationalised at PC-I stage according to which it was presumed that 18,000 passengers will travel via this route on daily basis.

According to the financial model of this metro bus service with average of 18,000 daily passengers, the service requires a subsidy of Rs300 million annually to meet its expenditure while if the number of passengers reaches 30,000, the metro will become subsidy-free.

However, according to the data shared by the Capital Development Authority on Sunday, 11,464 passengers are using the said Metro Bus Service daily at present, which is 61 per cent of the estimated figure.

The data further reflected that the Faiz Ahmed Faiz Metro Bus Station – a junction of old and new Metros is the busiest station with 1,746 passengers per day, whereas, the police foundation metro stop at mauve area remained least utilised.

Though, the route has an average ridership of 11,464 per day, the data showed that the number once crossed 16,000 passengers on a certain day, which is quite near to the estimated passengers.

When contacted, Project Director of Metro Bus Service Qazi Omer confirmed that the number of passengers is less than the actual estimations but he was confident that the number would increase in the next few months.

He said we are hopeful that we will not only successfully get our target passengers in coming months but same would gradually further be increased, which will help us to minimise our subsidy.

Meanwhile, the CDA management has stated that it is a matter of great satisfaction that a large number of people are utilising this facility.

It was further hoped that with the launch of green line and blue line shortly, the connectivity among the various areas of capital will increase and the ridership will further increase on the said route.

Green and blue lines are two new Metro Bus services going to be launched by the CDA from Koral Chowk to Zero Point and from Bhara Kahu to Peshawar Morr.

The management expressed their hope that not only this would reduce traffic congestion but would also help in reducing air pollution in the city.

The newly imported buses are likely to reach Islamabad from Karachi by the end of this week in first phase while buses for blue and green lines are also reaching Islamabad after some time.