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Progress on Karachi metro bus

Poor traffic management, inefficient transportation, worsening traffic congestion and air pollution is an ordinary day in Karachi. In additiont to this, Pakistan’s economic hub, one of the largest cities in the world, currently functions without a formal public transport and mass transit system.
Karachi’s transport system does not deliver mobility for all. It is marked by long commute times and the decline of public transport. The large investment in flyovers and underpasses clearly reflects that private road transport is being prioritized when there is a need to develop a sustainable urban transport system in the metropolitan city.
Slowly and gradually, the mass transit system is overcoming snags and is taking shape. The Green Line BRT metro-bus project, funded by the federal government, is finally nearing completion. Next up is the Red Line BRT project which is expected to benefit ten percent of the city’s population.
The 26.6-km corridor will connect Municipal Park to Meriwether Tower and onwards from Numaish to Model Colony via the key artery University Road. More than 300,000 passengers are expected to travel on the routes daily. The project will have about 200 buses and will generate more than 2000 jobs. Earlier in June, the ADB had approved a $235 million loan to partially finance the project’s civil works and equipment costs.
Now the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) – the Beijing-based development bank touted as China’s answer to the World Bank – has approved a $71.81 million loan for the Red Line BRT project. The total cost of the project is $503.33m jointly funded by ADB, French development agency contributing $71.81m, Green Climate Fund $37.20m, and Sindh government $75.71m.
Residents of Karachi will have to wait patiently as the project will be launched in August next year. The deadline for completion is fixed at December 2023. This will provide efficient and safe connectivity and reduced journey times with a high-quality, accessible and affordable mass transport. It’s high time that authorities consider mass transit projects as their foremost priority.
Karachi is being consistently ranked as one of the world’s most unlivable cities, largely because of traffic congestion and induced air and noise pollution. This project will improve the quality of life and increase the use of quality transport. One hopes that our traffic woes will be resolved with a sustainable, reliable, safe, gender and environmental-friendly transportation system in the city.
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