One of the biggest issues of Karachi is its pathetic transport system. While other cities have developed Metro and other bus services, Karachi concerned departments just keep talking about transport services while no actual action is being taken.
One good news did come that World Bank has agreed to fund Yellow Line Bus Rapid Transit and form an integrated BRT system in the city. Now the Sindh government has made an announcement to launch a new bus for the people in Karachi.
Nasir Hussain the minister for transportation says that this new project in Karachi will be a public-private collaboration. The CM of Sindh Murad Ali Shah and Mayor of Karachi Waseem Akhtar have been briefed about this project.
617 buses will operate in Karachi under this project. By end of November, a few will be introduced at first. After some time, all 617 will be on roads of Karachi. The routes of these buses will be decided in agreement with stakeholders.
The price of the ticket on the bus is expected to be in range Rs.10 to Rs.30. There is a committee that has been established to finalize the amount of fare. Members of Sindh Government and the Karachi Transport Union are part of the committee.
Rs. 2 billion are spent on this project, which will be given back in small amounts in next five years as per Minister for Transportation Nasir Hussain. Also Sindh Modaraba Limited will give a loan which will cover almost 70% expenses of these buses. Sindh government and local transporters will provide the other 30% expenses.
The loan will be given by transporters in the next five year along with rental charges 5%. If the service provided by transporters will be good enough and they pay loan within the assigned time, they will get relinquishment of 15%. Whereas the Sindh government will have to pay 30% credit risk guarantee along with 5% insurance of buses.
Tenders for the project will be served on first come first serve criteria. There will be a specific uniform for drivers and conductors of the bus and there will be no discussion on this matter. As for ticket it is compulsory on every traveler.
This step taken is a much needed one, recently Karachi was called as worst nation to drive, to live in, for women and least secure overall. An introduction of new bus service, is a silver lining for the city.