Better Transportation

It seems as though finally Karachi is experiencing some infrastructural development with the launch of the People’s Bus Service. This could usher in a new era for public transportation in the city which suffers from immense traffic congestion already. With the increase in fuel prices as well, this would provide a cheaper option to travel from one point to the other. Projects like this, or the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR), are needed since they are all about facilitating the people. It is good to see the Sindh government take such an initiative.

Transportation for the bus service will be provided by the 240 air-conditioned buses that were imported from China. The government has planned seven routes all across the metropolis and while the official inauguration was Monday, June 27, the jury is still out on whether commercial operations will begin on all of them simultaneously. This is something that the authorities must clear up so that the public can plan their travel details accordingly and make use of this new and promising facility.

Once the People’s Bus Service becomes fully operational, plans of expansion can be entertained. The government has already allocated Rs4 billion in its budget for procuring more buses and the hope is that the service receives immense success so that this becomes worth it.

Traffic congestion is a major problem in Karachi and often, it takes people over an hour to travel from one place to the other. Private transportation has experienced a steady boom further adding to the deteriorating environmental situation in the city, and the country in general.

With more public transport options, the likelihood of traveling through these routes will increase, which will not only provide some financial relief to the public but will set up the infrastructure needed to modernise Karachi. Most urban centres of the world, like London, have expertly planned public transportation and often prohibit the use of cars in areas that experience the most traffic. These cities have not done anything impossible, but have only focused on a long-term plan to make transport more sustainable and affordable for all. Our public transport strategy needs an overhaul.

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