Women commuters at receiving end due to shortage of public transport

KARACHI: Acute shortage of public transport in the mega city, not only affect the business but the women commuters are most affected as compared to men as females have very limited alternate convenience facility for commuting from home to work in the city.

Karachi City has witnessed the disappearance of over 12,000 public service buses including mini buses and coaches in the last decades. According to the official report, there were over 20,000 buses, mini buses and coaches in the City till the 2000 year but now only 8,000 public transport vehicles are operational in the city. Similarly, these buses were functional on 200 different routes of the city but now only 80 out of them are operational; however, the decrease in the number of public transport has created a huge public inconvenience which has been affecting women commuters the most in the city.

The lack of Sindh governments’ interest in public transport has allowed the dangerous vehicles to ply on city’s different roads to fill the vacuum illegally, including Qingqi motorcycles which will soon be functional again in the city after the orders passed by Supreme Court and extra seat Rickshaws.

It has been observed that the working women have been suffering from the acute shortage of public transport as majority of them do not ride motorbikes, cars and other inconvenience vehicles, whereas, the men commuters could easily get these to reach their destinations on the time; however, women usually wait for hours to catch the buses and if in case of the bus has already full of passengers, they compel to wait for the next.

Karachi’s citizens anxiously waiting for the accomplishment of the mass transit project of Sindh government and the green line bus which was promised by Federal government for this city. The green line bus was promised to be functional at the start of 2016, similarly the orange line, but delay in these lines tells that citizens have to wait few more years.

In this connection, the DIG Traffic has suggested that to develop and encourage public transport sector, there is dire need to declare transport sector as transport industry. He further said that the private transporters may also be given soft bank loan and subsidy as this act will go a long way to provide international-based transport facilities to the citizens of this most populous metropolitan.

DIG told that other side of this issue could not be ignored as transporters have view that they are reluctant to bring new buses, mini buses or coaches in the city due to non-insurance of insurance cover by majority of insurance companies to public vehicles in case they are burnt during violence.