All you need to know about Lahore’s Orange Line Metro Train project

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Dubbed as a “symbol” of Pakistan-China friendship, the Lahore Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) is the first transport project under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which has promised easy and time-saving commute to its citizens.

The project was inaugurated by Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar on Sunday.

Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar along with Chinese Consul General Long Dingbin inaugurate Orange Line Train, in Lahore, on October 25. — APP

Here’s all you need to know about Pakistan’s first electricity-run public sector transport project:

When was the agreement signed?

The agreement for this project was signed in April 2015 in the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping, marking its great significance for both China and Pakistan.

It was formally handed over to the Punjab Masstransit Authority (PMA) on October 9, 2020.

Chinese women traveling on the Orange Line Train while holding flags of Pakistan and China after the project’s inauguration. — APP photo by Ashraf Chaudhry

Why the delay?

The project was completed in five-and-a-half years, despite being initially set to finish in two years.

The project was delayed due to many reasons.

One of the reasons quoted by different ministers in media briefings was that the government was working to launch the project at a minimum cost via various marketing options, including establishing shops for the private sector at the OLMT stations.


In brief:

– The project has been completed in five-and-a-half years as opposed to the planned two years

– It will provide employment to more than 4,000 people

– Daily commuters estimated at around 250,000

– Government has fixed a one-way fare of Rs40 per passenger for an initial six-month period

– The Punjab government will bear a cost of Rs130 per trip per passenger to run the project


Employment to 4,000 people

that cited Provincial Transport Minister Jehanzeb Khan Khichi, the project will provide employment to more than 4,000 people and around Rs250,000 commuters would travel on it daily.

Moreover, annual subsidies of Rs5.62 billion would be given to the, project comprising 26 stations and a track spanning over 27.12km.

People stand at a station of the newly built Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT), a metro project planned under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), after its official opening in the eastern city of Lahore on October 25, 2020. —AFP/Arif Ali

One-sided fare fixed at Rs40 for now

The government fixed a fare of Rs40 per passenger per trip for a six-month period and seeks to increase it stage-wise.

It is likely that after six months, the government will not only increase the round trip fare but also introduce zone-wise fare according to passengers’ footfall in the busiest areas of the route.

A man collects a token from an automatic ticket vending machine at a station of the newly built Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT), a metro project planned under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), after its official opening in the eastern city of Lahore on October 25, 2020. —AFP/Arif Ali
Passengers traveling on the Orange Line Train after inauguration. — APP photo by Ashraf Caudhry

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