Public transport in Lahore district was initially regulated by District Regional Transport Authority (DRTA). Major functions of DRTA included regulation of transport within their respective jurisdiction by assessing traffic needs of passengers and good transport, issuance of route permits to transport vehicles plying in the district, classification of routes etc.
The public transport sector at that time was under developed, highly fragmented, inadequately managed and inefficient. There was a large gap between the demand and provision of an efficient and environment friendly public transport system. In order to promote public private partnership & fulfill passenger demand, small private operators were allowed to operate in a fragmented way. This led to chaotic individually owned/operated small vehicles (wagons, qingqis, rickshaws etc.) to be operated in Lahore, competing for road space. In addition to unlicensed mini-bus and wagons services, the phenomenon of qingqis and rickshaws arose which operated in conjunction with buses on primary and secondary routes.
Lahore Transport Company was established as a regulatory body formed under section 42 of the Companies Ordinance 1984, repealed with Companies Act 2017 in the province of Punjab, with the Registrar Joint Stock Companies, Lahore, governed by independent Board of Directors in April 2009 and took up responsibility to provide efficient, safe, environmental friendly and affordable public transport facilities in Lahore city, LTC’s Planning & Operation wing continued public transport services under the guidelines expressed in The Punjab Gazette published in February, 2006. In order to better facilitate the general public, LTC reclaimed these specific routes served by informal illegal transport by issuing specific number of LOV permits to mazdas/wagons. These permits are renewed on yearly basis, depending on the condition of the vehicle. Currently, there are 13 HOV and 33 LOV operational routes in Lahore. These routes connect major business, transit & recreational facilities within the Lahore city district.
In order to meet the increasing mobility demand and facilitate private transport operators, LTC has purchased 350 Ankai, 111 Foton, 21 Zongtong AC CNG buses for operation. Furthermore 90 diesel buses have been refurbished in order to provide an efficient public transport service to the general public. LTC has also contributed to infrastructure development for Lahore city, with removal of illegal occupants at transport depots, renovation of depots without government spending, installation of flag posts and shelters etc. In order to facilitate female gender, buses are operated exclusively for females, known as Pink Buses. Subsidized cards for students are also issued through which only PKR 10 is charged per trip. Free travel service for Senior and Disabled citizens is also a popular initiative undertaken by LTC.
Awareness of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) is on the rise, especially in developing countries. For the same purpose, LTC has successfully implemented E-ticketing on all urban subsidized routes of Lahore. In the next phase, LTC has implemented cashless transactions for transparency in the E-ticketing system. Furthermore, LTC has launched ‘Apni Sawari’, a smart phone app available on Google Play Store, which provides real time bus information, including bus arrival time, trip planning, live bus locator etc. to commuters. To facilitate the general public and avoid illegal fare collection from transporters, Lahore Transport Company has uploaded all fare tables.