The Tourism Development Corporation of the Punjab (TDCP) will start a week-long trial run for the country’s first double-decker tourist buses from October 27. The two new Volvo buses reached city after customs clearance in Karachi.
TDCP Managing Director Ahmar Malik told The Express Tribune that the custom-made double-decker buses had been imported from China for Sightseeing Lahore tourist service.
He said the service would be introduced in November, after the conclusion of a week-long trial starting next Tuesday.
He said the TDCP had planned to launch the service in mid-October but had postponed the launch on account of Muharram.
Malik said the routes for the buses were being finalised.
“Several proposals are under consideration. It has been proposed that tourist buses use part of on the metro bus track in some parts of the city,” he said.
“We studied the double-decker bus services in London, Dubai and Budapest before introducing the bus in Lahore,” he said.
“The service will initially be limited to evening tours. Later we will add more tours to the timetable,” he said.
He said that the TDCP was building two bus terminals near Punjab Stadium and near Fort Road Food Street.
“Thousands of people visit these areas every day and there are many eateries here” he said. He said that the Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA) had agreed to extend cooperation with the corporation over the initiative.
He said the authority would provide a tonga, rickshaw and guide services at the Fort Road Food Street to promote the city’s heritage.
Malik said tourists would also have the opportunity to sample Pakistani cuisine at one of the many eateries in Gaddafi Stadium and shop in the commercial areas nearby.
The TDCP imported the buses for $376,000. Each bus has a capacity to accommodate 67 passengers. The vehicles are equipped with a public address system for guides to brief tourists on the city’s history and places of interest along the route.
Malik says students would be charged Rs150 and others Rs300 per head.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 23rd, 2015.