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Pakistan's 1st ever metro train service starts commercial operation in Lahore

LeGenD

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Interesting, what are Chinese doing in Lahore, are they permanent residents or just guest workers?
Lahore is a popular tourist destination in Pakistan due to its historical heritage, hotels, shopping malls, and tourism-friendly rides. Chinese are a frequent sight in Lahore therefore.
 

RealNapster

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I disagree. People always say this about major infrastructure projects and in particular about public transit and rail. It is expensive yes, but the economic benefits associated with it are equally huge and very hard to quantify.

Here in London, the UK government has been heavily criticized for cost overrunning and major delays to Crossrail, which is a modern railway line that runs from west of London in Reading all the way through major urban areas of London to the East. It has cost the tax payer GBP20bn (that's a whopping PKR4.15tn in today's terms, or more than half of Pakistan's federal annual budget). The cost increases and delays are far far greater than anything we've seen in Pakistan with metrobus projects or orange line. However, the need is so dire that there is no choice but to expand the rail network and improve transit times from the suburbs and outside London to the city. The city has become unlivable, and the government judges that crossrail despite running large operating deficits, will generate FAR more income in the city some GBP42bn it was estimated a while back.

Public transport networks most places in the world are run on subsidies, they are not there to make operating surplus or generate profit. They are a publicly funded merit goods in economic terms. Government's local and national everywhere in the world run deficits (operate at a loss), the point is for them to distribute funds in such a way to maximise economic benefit, boost economic growth, and to undertake highly beneficial large scale projects that the private sector can't or won't (e.g public transport networks, R&D and space etc.). If governments everywhere suddenly began to only spend what they earn in taxes (or even a surplus), the net effect is that they would be actively deflating and shrinking their economies. I can tell you that London operates a gigantic public transport network, and a very costly one, but if it shut down for a few days and the losses to the economy are staggering, and equally long term without these projects your cities cannot expand, your economic activity will suffer, businesses suffer and flexibility of the labour suffers too.

I know I wouldn't be able to work where I do if the public transport network that I use daily were not in place. My journey would conservatively increase to 3-4 hours per day if I were forced to drive to work which doesn't include the hundreds of thousands of cars that would clog the city's roads.

And that's just London, our subsidies and operating losses aren't even that big. Take the light blue part of the charts of the other major cities below:

View attachment 684668

Also, the cost of not spending on rail and bus transit projects or their operating subsidies is at best a zero sum, you either spend there or you suffer economic damage elsewhere. Or you opt for the much worse alternative for major cities which is spending the amount you would have done on transit, instead on more roads and road maintenance. So at best it's a zero sum game, but more likely for major cities, the benefits of public transport are far greater than the overall cost. Public transport networks also account for less air pollution and road congestion. So everyone benefits.

Also, public transport systems are somewhat natural monopolies and economic theory that applies here has it that the subsidies involve are not inherently wasteful, they serve the purpose of improving access and capacity, as well as lowering fares, and the economic benefit is really very prevalent for the lower income groups so it's a pro-poor policy. One slightly off topic paper discusses this a little. You can find a lot of academic papers on the subject of the benefits of costly public transport.

But IMO the best case for them is to look at what other major cities around the world are doing, they are all following this model and are benefiting, even our neighbours are also following the same path. In a country where people complain about nothing being developed, why can't we be happy when a road network, a metrobus or a railway is built and runs successfully? People complained about the metrobus, now everyone wants one, and understandably so, I think the same will happen with the Orange line, despite high cost of rail.

You give example of UK. And US and other European countries. But you forget that cities handle such projects are are responsible for operations, maintanance and other costs and subsidies. Here you want all of Punjab to pay subsidy for 10% of Lahore population ? Not a great idea to start with
 

Falcon26

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Ya thought the same. I was hoping to see plush areas given PDF keeps telling me that people are quite rich. But it doesn't seem that way in this video. May be this metro is travelling through low end areas of Lahore. I was expecting something similar to Delhi.

This is kochi.
It’s good to see that there’s no significant congestion from the video. India is a beautiful country but given a bad reputation due to excessive congestions. Does the government now control the number of private buses and three wheelers allowed on the roads? It’s astonishing to imagine the video above is from India given the empty clear roads. Good job by the local authority

Perhaps something Lahore can emulate by not issuing any private licenses for busses and three wheelers. This will force the public to rely on the public transit systems and free up the roads.

But Lahore should REALLY renovate the historical buildings. It’s a national shame that such magnificent buildings are being allowed to rot away and crumble. Such historic sites can increase tourism and generate revenue.
 

Jungibaaz

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I am not Ayaz Sadiq later my wording enjoy by the enemy. Pakistan hai to hum hain.
Completely tangential. I know you have no real counterarguments. It's best to only comment when you have something worth saying.
Comparing 1st world "in the black balance sheet" transport subsidies with a "near default" country. Awesome.
First of all, we are NOT near default, that's total bs. The last ratings action on Pakistan sovereign was by Moody's in Q2, they reviewed us from B3 stable and left us unchanged. That's not near default. That by Moody's standard is a a few notches above that. And in fact, we have never once defaulted either.

Secondly, on transport subsidies... I wrote a lengthy reply and referenced academic papers as well as other countries in explaining why public transport networks run at a loss and often requite subsidy. As far as you're superficial attempt to invalidate the entirety of my arguments, they are pretty weak.

I have some simple examples for you to consider, metrobuses are a success in Pakistan, they also run at a loss. And as for rail transit, you need look no further than New Delhi, India is far from a first world country, they're exactly like us, and they also have a metro system in their capital that runs at an operating loss, and they like other cities in the world have recognized the need for metro and public transit. They have built the equivalent of multiple Orange lines in their capital, and they are very successful, each new additional line, each passing year, their network becomes more important, more affordable and more efficient requiring less subsidies. Most of what I said in my previous post also applies to them to, albeit on a different scale.

You can see their operating loss summarized on page 31 of this annual report.

The point is that public transit is very important in large cities, roads alone don't cut it anywhere. Most major cities in the world will/have invested in bus, subway, light rail and other transit infrastructure to form networks. And these networks benefit everyone, but they benefit the poor and immobile citizens disproportionately. Hence why economic theory says that natural monopolies are given subsidies by choice, in order to expand coverage, subsidize fares, benefiting those poorer and lower middle class that might be priced out if subsidies are removed and the transport companies are allowed to operate at profit maximization point (marginal revenue = marginal cost).

Here's some economic theory that describes why subsidies are given, note how the article does not mention your qualifying argument that this only applies to advanced economies, I'll highlight the parts pertinent to my arguments in bold:

Pricing of Product under Natural Monopoly | Markets
Article Shared by Vanshika Ghosh​
In this article we will discuss about the pricing of a product under natural monopoly with its problems.​
There are many production processes where average cost of production declines over the entire range of market demand (as in Fig. 11.26) because of economies of scale. This implies that one firm can satisfy the entire market demand more cheaply than a multiple of firms could.​
That is why it is thought that monopoly may arise naturally in these production processes. Such a monopoly is called a natural monopoly. Virtually, all public utilities are natural monopolies.​
1604261134913.png
Municipal waterworks, electrical power companies, telephone companies, transportation services are examples of the production processes which may be organised as natural monopolies. We shall see that if a natural monopoly is not regulated, if it is left free to make its own profit-maximising price-output policy, then the inefficiency of monopoly would be too much for the society to accept.​
In other words, principle of profit maximisation would not be able to properly utilise the economies of scale that give rise to a natural monopoly, and society would be the loser. That is why a natural monopoly needs to be regulated.​
An alternative to regulate natural monopoly is to let the government operate it. If the government operates a natural monopoly, then ideally it should follow the p = MC principle and pay a lump-sum subsidy to keep the firm in operation.
By doing this, the government would cause the output of the firm to rise and price to fall which would often be a greater gain to the society than the loss involved in the payment of subsidy.

Lastly, it should be mentioned that the government would have to set up an effective machinery that would correctly measure the average cost of the firm so that price can be appropriately set when the p = AC principle is followed. Also, the machinery should be given a freehand to determine the quantum of subsidy that should be paid when the p = MC principle is put into practice.​

You can read the rest of the article here:
You give example of UK. And US and other European countries. But you forget that cities handle such projects are are responsible for operations, maintanance and other costs and subsidies. Here you want all of Punjab to pay subsidy for 10% of Lahore population ? Not a great idea to start with
I partially agree with you here, but provincial setup debate is for another thread IMO, major cities like Karachi and Lahore should have devolved assemblies and their own local administrative units, city level development authorities in charge of public works, planning and public transport/roads. As for funds, Karachi and Lahore generate substantial tax receipts vs other regions, or vs the rest of their respective provinces; Karachi's tax receipts we all know are massive, and Lahore for example has x4 the tax receipts of Pindi and Faisalabad combined. So the fairness argument goes both ways.

I personally wish to see Karachi having its own BRT systems and urban rail, it'll make the city a little more livable. And I'm quite certain, just like metrobus, this Orange line will prove its worth and will be followed by other cities if they can afford it. Also major projects like this, if they are to show up anywhere in Pakistan, they will invariably be only in the places of most dire need (mega-cities). The problem here isn't why Lahore has got their first baby steps, but why Karachi is lagging so far behind.
 

BATMAN

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27kms only. 10-12 billion $ subsidy from government per year. Yeh kaise “development”?
Although i am up for anything that reduces chingchis on the road.
Where did you get that data?
please awaam insanu ki turhan istaimal karna!!
Go to airport and you will see officials hired by Zardari, deliberately damaging the infrastructure in every nook and corner.
This is the fate of Pakistan, people who are more loyal to foreign states are hired on govt. jobs, while Pakistanis are hired simply as Tigers Force.

Some foreign funded self appointed agencies disturbed the route and delayed construction.

Trail runs were done in 2019, but than new govt. delayed inauguration for unknown reasons.
 
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Chhatrapati

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It’s good to see that there’s no significant congestion from the video. India is a beautiful country but given a bad reputation due to excessive congestions. Does the government now control the number of private buses and three wheelers allowed on the roads? It’s astonishing to imagine the video above is from India given the empty clear roads. Good job by the local authority

Perhaps something Lahore can emulate by not issuing any private licenses for busses and three wheelers. This will force the public to rely on the public transit systems and free up the roads.

But Lahore should REALLY renovate the historical buildings. It’s a national shame that such magnificent buildings are being allowed to rot away and crumble. Such historic sites can increase tourism and generate revenue.
Metro is not that congested, it's not shot during peak hours so there is less traffic.
The Capital city and Mumbai are some of the busiest places, and obviously, that's the most visited place and hence the most covered by media as well as tourists. Which then extrapolated to the entire country.

The video is from South India slightly less congested but the cities are still busy but there is a bit more greenery hence it won't look that bland.
 

Waterboy

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Completely tangential. I know you have no real counterarguments. It's best to only comment when you have something worth saying.


First of all, we are NOT near default, that's total bs. The last ratings action on Pakistan sovereign was by Moody's in Q2, they reviewed us from B3 stable and left us unchanged. That's not near default. That by Moody's standard is a a few notches above that. And in fact, we have never once defaulted either.

Secondly, on transport subsidies... I wrote a lengthy reply and referenced academic papers as well as other countries in explaining why public transport networks run at a loss and often requite subsidy. As far as you're superficial attempt to invalidate the entirety of my arguments, they are pretty weak.

I have some simple examples for you to consider, metrobuses are a success in Pakistan, they also run at a loss. And as for rail transit, you need look no further than New Delhi, India is far from a first world country, they're exactly like us, and they also have a metro system in their capital that runs at an operating loss, and they like other cities in the world have recognized the need for metro and public transit. They have built the equivalent of multiple Orange lines in their capital, and they are very successful, each new additional line, each passing year, their network becomes more important, more affordable and more efficient requiring less subsidies. Most of what I said in my previous post also applies to them to, albeit on a different scale.

You can see their operating loss summarized on page 31 of this annual report.

The point is that public transit is very important in large cities, roads alone don't cut it anywhere. Most major cities in the world will/have invested in bus, subway, light rail and other transit infrastructure to form networks. And these networks benefit everyone, but they benefit the poor and immobile citizens disproportionately. Hence why economic theory says that natural monopolies are given subsidies by choice, in order to expand coverage, subsidize fares, benefiting those poorer and lower middle class that might be priced out if subsidies are removed and the transport companies are allowed to operate at profit maximization point (marginal revenue = marginal cost).

Here's some economic theory that describes why subsidies are given, note how the article does not mention your qualifying argument that this only applies to advanced economies, I'll highlight the parts pertinent to my arguments in bold:



You can read the rest of the article here:


I partially agree with you here, but provincial setup debate is for another thread IMO, major cities like Karachi and Lahore should have devolved assemblies and their own local administrative units, city level development authorities in charge of public works, planning and public transport/roads. As for funds, Karachi and Lahore generate substantial tax receipts vs other regions, or vs the rest of their respective provinces; Karachi's tax receipts we all know are massive, and Lahore for example has x4 the tax receipts of Pindi and Faisalabad combined. So the fairness argument goes both ways.

I personally wish to see Karachi having its own BRT systems and urban rail, it'll make the city a little more livable. And I'm quite certain, just like metrobus, this Orange line will prove its worth and will be followed by other cities if they can afford it. Also major projects like this, if they are to show up anywhere in Pakistan, they will invariably be only in the places of most dire need (mega-cities). The problem here isn't why Lahore has got their first baby steps, but why Karachi is lagging so far behind.
Sir you're replies regarding public transport are commendable. These stupid brain dead PTI assholes are all for education and public reforms and bullshit with zero development for infrastructure. I am still trying to find any changes or new reforms in governance. The conditions are deplorable and PTI came up with tiger force with their HQ in arfa karim tower to build tiger software. Orange train is great initiative for poor people lahore and kudos to PMLN. After all it benefits the poor man, why should i curse it. Yes i don't see ant change in governance but infrasturce development of N League is visible and here to stay.
 

Dark1

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And as for rail transit, you need look no further than New Delhi, India is far from a first world country, they're exactly like us, and they also have a metro system in their capital that runs at an operating loss, and they like other cities in the world have recognized the need for metro and public transit.
Delhi metro has never had a operational loss till 2019, covid year i can't say.
It has a net loss.
Net loss means the interest and principal payment delhi metro makes to its lenders is also included in the PL statement. Approximately 1500 cr interest payment per annum.

But metros in some other smaller cities suffer operational loss due to lower crowds.
Large cities easily cover operational costs.
Unfortunately India is 35 % more crowded than Pakistan on population density. So metros are just a part of the solution.
And where it all began for the Lahore metro-
"Shahbaz Sharif meets DMRC chief, briefed on Metro network
Tribune News Service
Dec 2013
New Delhi, December 12
A delegation of Pakistan officials led by Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, younger brother of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister of Pakistan's Punjab province, today met Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) Managing Director Mangu Singh at Metro Bhawan.
The meeting was aimed at sharing the working and construction of expanding network of Metro trains in the national Capital.
The delegation also took a Metro ride from Patel Chowk station to Rajiv Chowk in Connaught Place at around 10.30 am. "They visited Metro's museum at Patel Chowk before boarding the train and went down to the Rajiv Chowk station," said sources in DMRC.
After deboarding at Rajiv Chowk station, he visited the Metro Bhawan at Barakhamba where he was given a warm welcome by Mangu Singh who later briefed Sharif about the Delhi Metro project as well as how it was providing quality service to lakhs of commuters daily.
In a meeting that lasted for around half an hour, the officials discussed the issues related to the Metro and the difficulties faced in the laying of Metro lines. "They wanted to know how it all began and how does it work. It was a general interaction about the whole experience of carrying out Metro projects," said the sources.
Sources said the Pakistani delegation was impressed with the functioning of the Metro services and complimented the DMRC officials on running the network efficiently.
Metro officials said the commuters did not face any inconvenience due to travel by the Pakistani delegation. "The commuters did not face any problem as the delegation travelled at around 11 am which is a non-peak hour," said a Metro official.
A number of top foreign leaders, including Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Britain's Prince Charles have taken a ride on Metro."
 
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mikkix

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Very Good project. Thumbs up to Lahore.
Next stop Islamabad and Peshawar.

Meanwhile Karachi will still be running on death trap metal buses in 2050.
Dear if state of Pakistan does not want to build a metro or anything in karachi then its their decision. We Karachiites loves Pakistan and loves Lahore. so dont be jealous and appreciate it.
 
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ZAMURD

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Very Good project. Thumbs up to Lahore.

Dear if state of Pakistan does not want to build a metro or anything in karachi then its their decision. We Karachiites loves Pakistan and loves Lahore. so dont be jealous and appreciate it.
Green line is near completion.
KCR revival is going on albeit slow.
Orange line is also near completion.
Red lined project has been signed with int'l donor.
 

Protest_again

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It’s good to see that there’s no significant congestion from the video. India is a beautiful country but given a bad reputation due to excessive congestions. Does the government now control the number of private buses and three wheelers allowed on the roads? It’s astonishing to imagine the video above is from India given the empty clear roads. Good job by the local authority

Perhaps something Lahore can emulate by not issuing any private licenses for busses and three wheelers. This will force the public to rely on the public transit systems and free up the roads.

But Lahore should REALLY renovate the historical buildings. It’s a national shame that such magnificent buildings are being allowed to rot away and crumble. Such historic sites can increase tourism and generate revenue.
I am not trying to be boastful but South India is pretty well developed. There'll be massive congestion in peak hours but still it is more organized than in North. Lahorians need to develop the properties adjacent to metro and make them business centers. This is Bangalore.

 

Falcon26

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I am not trying to be boastful but South India is pretty well developed. There'll be massive congestion in peak hours but still it is more organized than in North. Lahorians need to develop the properties adjacent to metro and make them business centers. This is Bangalore.

Very impressive. Looks like some town in Southeast Asia. Good aesthetic blend between the traditional and modern.
 

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