Thursday May 21, 2020
LAHORE: The All Pakistan Public Transport Owners Federation and the Punjab government successfully an agreement on Thursday to resume service in the province, reported Geo News.
The talks between the transport federation and the government were held at Transport House Lahore and attended by Provincial Industries and Trade Minister, Transport Minister Jahanzeb Khichi and secretary transport.
The transport federation was represented by Ahmed Shehzad, Asmatullah Niazi and Malik Nadeem.
According to the revised SOPs agreed upon between the transporters and the government, the latter has given permission for one passenger per seat for those buses running on GT Road after a 20% fare discount.
Buses running on the motorway will be allowed to seat one passenger per two seats without a fare discount.
The transporters said that the bus crew would make sure sanitizers and face masks are being used, however, passengers need to make sure they are wearing face masks on their own.
A day earlier, talks between the Punjab government and the transporters had ended in a deadlock over the implementation of SOPs on inter-city transport.
Speaking to media after the meeting, Niazi had said, “We will mull over the offer given by the government of running buses on the GT Road rather than motorway."
Meanwhile, Iqbal had said that the policy of passengers sitting with a seat's distance apart on the motorway was Center's and that the Punjab government could not exempt them from the motorway taxes.
"We cannot intervene in the matters of the federal government," he said, adding: "the provincial government would also request support for the transport sector as given to other industries.”
Iqbal said that the transporters were focusing on fares, while the government has to think of the poor people as well.
Earlier on Sunday, a detailed notification was issued outlining protocols for inter-city transport after an outcry by transport owners in Punjab over lack of collaboration on SOPs and reduced fares announced by the government,
The notification contained directives for owners of buses and minibuses, terminals, passengers, drivers and conductors.