The KP-government has introduced an established structure for developing the province’s first ever cohesive Bus Rapid Transit Corridor.
The BRT would be making the way for restructuring and improving the province’s transport division.
Ride-hailing services like Uber and Careem are not widespread in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, especially in Peshawar. The KP-government is planning to make a regulatory authority for regulating and streamlining a rent-a-car system within the province.
The Less developed communication channel is one of the major reason why the province attracts minimum investments. The KP government’s plan for developing the urban transport system would be facilitating extensive access to jobs, public services, and markets.
As per data records, forty percent of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is devoid of any access to any kind of transport in comparison to thirty percent of the whole population of Pakistan. The share of the transport industry is approximately around eleven percent in the provincial economy.
The implementation of BRT would be a two-stage process. In Peshawar city, the BRT corridor would enable the formation of a circular railway under the CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor) that would be connecting six major cities of the country namely—Swabi, Mardan, Peshawar, Malakand, Charsadda, and Nowshera.
The total BRT project cost is approximately around $590 million. The Asian Development Bank has already agreed upon providing the loan of $335 million for the corridor. This would be the first ever urban transport investment in the province.
Prior to the loan approval, the Bank (ADB) conducted an analysis and studied the development of a service economy. As per the study findings so far, no significant investment has ever been done in the public transport sector since like ages.
However, major investments have been done for the making of flyovers suitable and of benefit only for the private cars. Because of this reason, the transportation setup in Peshawar city does not provide a complete mobility.
As per one study, majorly the transportation in the province is being catered by the informal public transports comprising of large and medium-sized buses, pickups, etc. These informal transportation chains serve seventy percent of the transport demand but represent just forty-three percent of the traffic.
Environmental assessment reveals that BRT would also enable in a tremendous reduction in the pollution created by vehicles as the private vehicles usage would decrease.
Another interesting and healthy development of the BRT project would be the construction of a bicycle path to encourage the use of bicycles as one principal channel of traveling. Also, dedicated parks would be created to promote the use of this path.
The BRT corridor would be twenty-six kilometers long running from Chamkani to Hayatabad. It would be advantageous to five lac people.
One of the officials of the transport department informed that a total of eighty buses would be deployed for the main routes while three-hundred buses would be running on eight feeder routes which also includes Ring road, Charsadda road, Kohat road and Hayatabad. The officer claimed that these feeder routes would be very much different and wide-ranging in comparison to the already present three BRT systems in Punjab.
The project would also open four thousand job opportunities for the youth of the province. Ten percent of these jobs would be offered to women in the transport sector for the first time in the province.
Mohsin Syed—CE KP Economic Zones Development and Management Company said that two Chinese firms have already been surveying the project. He further added that one of the firms has even finished its studies and has estimated a two-hundred-kilometer-long railway track for connecting the cities with the industrial estate.
CPEC along with some other industrial zones would be connected via the train with the six cities. Other industrial zones are Risalpur—Marble city, Nowshera—Industrial zone and a high-tech industrial estate in Kernal Sher Khan city.
As per the integrated development strategy 2014-18 report, the impact of the investments in the transportation sector would be economically significant in KP as the province lack transportation chains.