Bus rapid transit lines inevitable to solve commuters’ issue

Karachi: Public transport sector in Karachi has been neglected for last five decades, resulting is serious troubles for the commuters of this mega city and to resolve these issues introduction of rapid transit lines is inevitable.

A diverse group of relevant stakeholders including provincial government officials participated in a two-day training workshop on integrated Bus Rapid Transit Development held at a local hotel. The event was organized by IUCN Pakistan under the umbrella of UNDP funded Pakistan Sustainable Transport (PAKSTRAN) Project.

The activity aimed at highlighting the need of building institutional capacities for the promotion of sustainable transport at federal and provincial levels. The training provided a platform to discuss strategies and options for implementation of integrated BRT system in major cities of Pakistan.

On the occasion Taha Farouqi, Secretary Transport and Mass Transit Department Karachi said that the Government of Sindh is well aware of transport situation in Karachi and taking various measures to bring a visible improvement in the city. Plan of the Green and Orange BRT lines is in advanced stage and work will be started shortly.

Yoga Adiwinarto, Country Director ITDP, Indonesia was a key speaker who shared the international best practices on Bus Rapid Transit and integrated transportation system. He informed the participants regarding the role of Bus Rapid Transit system in urban development and socio-economic progress in other parts of the world. Mr. Yoga also shared few interesting examples of successful and failed projects of BRT in some countries.

On the occasion Fauzia Bilqis Malik, Component Manager IUCN-PAKSTRAN emphasized on the need of reliable and fuel efficient public transport for the sustainable progress of the country.

The training sessions were designed on participatory methodology which gave the opportunity to discuss sustainable transport system in the context of Pakistan specifically focusing on the situational analysis of Karachi city. Participants including transporters and traffic police personals gave practical recommendations for the improvement of transport sector in Pakistan.

The government officials from national highway and motorway police, urban planning and other departments from Government of Sindh appreciated the efforts of IUCN and PAKSTRAN project in taking initiatives of disseminating knowledge among relevant stakeholders on the transport and environment.

Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui, Commissioner Karachi graced the event as a chief guest and distributed the certificates among the participants. While speaking on the occasion he appreciated the efforts of PAKSTRAN Project in disseminating knowledge on the sustainable transport and Bus Rapid Transit system. He further said that implementation of Metro Bus projects by federal and Punjab governments is a positive step towards a dignified and environment friendly transport which is a step towards the sustainable development.

To address the transport and related problems in the country, the Pakistan Sustainable Transport (PAKSTRAN) Project is supported by Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Nations Development Programme (UNDP)implemented by Ministry of Water and Power, Government of Pakistan.

The objective of the Project is ‘to reduce the growth of energy consumption and related greenhouse gas emissions from Pakistan’s transport sector, while simultaneously improving urban environmental conditions and improving Pakistan’s competitiveness.

The Implementing Partner is Government of Pakistan, Ministry of Water and Power. The Responsible Parties are Government of Punjab, through Urban Unit, Planning & Development Division (Component 1 of PAKSTRAN); Government of Sindh, through Transport Cell, Transport Department (Component 2 of PAKSTRAN); Ministry of Communications, Government of Pakistan (Component 3 of PAKSTRAN), and IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, Pakistan (Component 4 of PAKSTRAN).