Test runs for metro buses underway

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ISLAMABAD: While the track for metro bus service is still under construction, bus operators have begun test runs for 68 buses imported from Turkey. “A special test run was conducted on Tuesday because the buses must be tested in cold and rainy weather conditions,” said an official of the Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) – the project execution agency. “The test run is necessary to ensure there are no mechanical problems and the engines are fit,” the official added. As the metro bus track is still incomplete, the test runs are being conducted at the Peshawar Mor bus depot.

The buses will be operated by the company which has imported the buses. Six expert drivers, technicians and experts have also arrived from Turkey to ensure the buses run smoothly.

The company is also in the process of recruiting drivers and candidates are taking driving tests on the buses at the depot.

All drivers selected would be provided special training by Turkish experts. Training modules would include observing speed limits of the buses, halting at appropriate stations and overtaking.

“While there are drivers available who are experienced in driving large vehicles, most are unaware of traffic rules such as use of indicators,” the RDA official said.

He said buses have also been made to facilitate seniors and people with special needs and facilitating such passengers is also part of a driver’s job.

The metro bus service is designed to have automated ticketing system, available at bus stops, and an independent surveillance system.

The drivers will be trained to synchronise their buses with these services to ensure smooth operation of the metro bus.