Multan Metrobus

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Multan Metrobus
SystemLahore Metrobus
OperatorPunjab Mass Transit Authority
Began service24 January 2017; 6 years ago (2017-01-24)
Route typeBus rapid transit
LocaleMultan, Punjab, Pakistan
StartBahauddin Zakariya University Terminal
EndKumharanwala Chowk Terminal
Route map

Bahauddin Zakariya
University Terminal
Mehmood Kot
Northern Bypass
Chungi 6
Chungi 9
Qasim Fort
Hafiz Jamal
BCG Chowk
Peoples Colony
Vehari Chowk
general bus stand
Jinnah Bagh
Shah Rukh-e-Alam
Kumharanwala Chowk
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The Multan Metrobus is a bus rapid transit (BRT) system in Multan, Punjab, Pakistan.[1] Construction work on the line began in May 2015, while operations commenced on 24 January 2017.[2] It was the third BRT project in Pakistan, after the Lahore Metrobus and the Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metrobus.[3][4]


A view of Multan Metro at night

The Multan Metro route is 18.5 kilometres (11.5 mi) long,[5] with a 12.5 kilometres (7.8 mi) elevated section. It has 21 bus stations, with 14 elevated stations and seven ground-level stations. The bus stations have been constructed with Multan's extreme hot and cold weather in mind.[4] Each bus, typically, can carry 190 passengers.[5] A private company will run the bus service for the time being.

Nearly 96,000 commuters are expected to use Multan Metrobus service every day.[4] The official reports reported cost of Rs. 29 billion for 18.5 kilometres (11.5 mi),[5] making it Rs 1.61 billion per kilometer.

Operational problems of project[edit]

Multan Metrobus service was started with 47 buses. However, the service was unable to meet its target of 90,000+ passengers. After experiencing losses, ten buses were sent to the Lahore Metrobus project. Nevertheless, the remaining 37 buses were still unable to attain viable passengers.[6] To prevent the service from collapsing, 19 buses were parked and strength was reduced to 18.[7]

Furthermore, 100 more feeder bus services were bought in the first phase, feeding passengers to the remaining 18 buses from far-flung areas.[8] Later, 100 more buses were imported to make a total of 200, accommodating all possible routes in Multan. Afterward, Speedo buses were also reduced from 200 to 115 after a few months attributed to empty buses and lack of public interest.[9] Despite all measures taken by the Punjab government, the project sustained high annual losses due to the subsidized rate provided in the project. Several reasons for the failure of the project included:

  • Poor route planning and design of the project.[10]
  • Difficult ticketing systems i.e. the electronic card used in the project and expensive card load requirements.
  • Qinqi rickshaws operating on same routes as the metro bus are cheaper and quicker.

Allegation and probe[edit]

An alleged scandal emerged on 29 January 2015, after Chinese firm Yabaite-China associated a huge amount of money in their accounts, flowing from the Pakistan-associated Multan metro project. It was revealed in an allegedly $17.5 million corruption scandal that a construction contract was awarded to Habib Rafiq Private Limited. Some part of the project was outsourced to Capital Engineering, a company owned by Faisal Subhan (alleged frontman of the Sharif family). Capital Engineering allegedly made suspicious deals with Jiangsu Yabaite Technology Co. Ltd, which possibly have provided a kickback to the Chief Minister of Punjab, Shehbaz Sharif.[11] However, Sharif outrightly rejected the allegations and termed Faisal Subhan as a fictitious character. "I have done no corruption, I am ready for any probe", he added.[12]

Despite all allegations, Zafar Hijazi, ex-chairman Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), refused to forward the case to FIA and start an inquiry against capital international or Yabaite China. However, after Hijazi was arrested in a record tampering case in August 2017,[13] SECP finally moved the money laundering cases against Chinese firm to FIA.[14] In October 2017, the Senate standing committee of finance noted serious reservations on corruption scam in Multan metro. It was noted that Hijazi, who changed the record for the Sharif family, held the Multan metro corruption cases and impeded its referral to FIA, raising further suspicions. Multan metro initiated the first ever high-profile money laundering case against any Chinese firm.[15]

After the Senate committee took up the case of Multan metro corruption, and SECP referred the associated money laundering case in October 2017, NAB finally took notice of the mega corruption scandal and ordered a probe into misappropriate of funds and use of substandard materials.[16][17] In February 2018, NAB finally started the proceedings after long controversies and delays.[18] Nadir Chatta, the Deputy Commissioner of Multan, faced interrogation from NAB on violation or procedures while purchase of land.[19] However, on 31 August 2017, acting Chinese ambassador, Zhao Lijian, rejected the allegations by saying that Yabaite was not operating in Pakistan.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Work on Multan Metro Bus to begin on August 14". The Nation. 2014-06-06. Retrieved 2022-10-02.
  2. ^ "'This is Naya Pakistan': PM inaugurates Rs29bn Metro Bus Project in Multan". Dawn. 2017-01-24. Retrieved 2022-10-02.
  3. ^ "Metro bus project a benchmark for South Punjab: CM". The Express Tribune. 2017-10-13. Retrieved 2022-10-02.
  4. ^ a b c "PM inaugurates Multan Metro Bus Service - Pakistan - Dunya News". Dunya News. 24 January 2017. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017.
  5. ^ a b c Shakeel, Madiha (2017-01-24). "PM inaugurates Multan Metro Bus project". Business Recorder. Retrieved 2022-10-02.
  6. ^ Metro stations collapsed, feeder buses to revive Multan metro bus: Jaag TV
  7. ^ Multan: Metro bus route looks deserted, retrieved 2022-10-02
  8. ^ Haq, Shahram (2017-06-29). "Multan's Feeder Bus Service to be operational in July". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 2022-10-02.
  9. ^ failure of Speedo bus service: Lahore news
  10. ^ Poor route plan of Multan metro bus
  11. ^ Rana, Shahbaz (2017-09-13). "Multan metro bus: Senate panel grills SECP for stagnant corruption probe". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 2022-10-02.
  12. ^ Khan, Rameez (2018-03-01). "Faisal Subhan is a fictional character, claims Shehbaz". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 2022-10-02.
  13. ^ Imran, Mohammad (2017-10-27). "Ex-SECP chief Zafar Hijazi indicted for tampering record of Sharif family's mills". Dawn. Retrieved 2022-10-02.
  14. ^ Ali, Kalbe (2017-08-31). "SECP sends money laundering case against Chinese firm to FIA". Dawn. Retrieved 2022-10-02.
  15. ^ "Pakistan launches first-ever probe against a Chinese firm in a money laundering case". The Economic Times. 31 August 2017. Retrieved 2022-10-02.
  16. ^ NAB ordered inquiry on Multan metro corruption
  17. ^ "NAB to probe all mega corruption cases including Multan Metro, aircraft sale". The Frontier Post. 2017-10-24. Retrieved 2022-10-02.
  18. ^ "Scam unearthed: NAB likely to summon CM in Multan Metro inquiry". The Express Tribune. 2018-02-07. Retrieved 2022-10-02.
  19. ^ "Metro Bus corruption: Multan DC Nadir Chattha appears before NAB". 92 News. 2018-02-27. Retrieved 2022-10-02.
  20. ^ "Chinese envoy rejects allegations of corruption in Multan Metro Bus project". Dawn. 2017-09-01. Retrieved 2022-10-02.