Photographer and writer Faizan Ahmad celebrates Lahori commuter life in his project Lahore By Metro, which features snaps of the 1980s Metrobus transit system that stretches 16 miles across the Pakistani city.
In Lahore By Metro, Ahmad’s photographs capture daily commuter action, from the rush-hour squeeze (the system carries an average of 180,000 people per day) to snoozing bodies and anxious first-time users – in the buses and on stations with concrete staircases, chartreuse toned-walls, metal elevators with chintz-covered walls and curved canopied walkways.
Ahmad’s project started five years ago when he moved to Lahore for university and became fascinated by big-city life and observing people on his daily Metrobus commute. He started speaking to his fellow passengers and asking them about their lives. Some of these conversations turned into stories that Ahmad published on social media along with accompanying portraits.
‘Life is bustling in and around the Metro,’ said Ahmad, who is from a small town 90 miles from Lahore. ‘It is a world all on its own.’ His Lahore By Metro story series takes inspiration from the Humans of New York blog. It has evolved into a book that Ahmad has launched as a Kickstarter campaign.
The travel book gives the Metrobus a human face and dives into ordinary people’s extraordinary lives, creating a rich portrait of the energetic, cosmopolitan city that is Pakistan’s cultural capital. From urbanites to rural visitors and foreign nationals, young and old, rich and poor, its ensemble includes a pharmaceutical company worker who has set up an online health service for women, and a female Metrobus worker and single mother.