Imran to inaugurate Green Line bus service on December 10: minister

KARACHI: Prime Minister Imran Khan will inaugurate the long-delayed Green Line bus rapid transit system (BRTS) on December 10, Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar announced Sunday.

The minister announced last week the federal government-funded project will begin trial operations “in the next 10 days”.

The service, touted as a solution to the public transport woes of residents of Karachi, will begin commercial operations from December 25, he said.

One of the provincial capital’s major public transport projects, the Rs16.85 billion service — work on which started in 2016 — was estimated to be completed by the end of 2017 but kept getting new deadlines as the metropolis of over 14 million continued to suffer in the absence of a proper mass transit system.

The BRT service is supposed to facilitate the travel of approximately 300,000 passengers daily.

Karachi ranks as having the worst public transport system globally, according to a 2019 study by car-parts company Mister Auto that looked at 100 major cities.

It serves about 42 percent of Karachi’s commuters, relying on decades-old, overcrowded buses that use the roof as a second deck for passengers at times. Roads are filled with potholes, not all traffic signals are automated, and it’s common to see drivers running red lights.

Since the launch of the scheme, the battered roads on either side of the route have turned into a great source of nuisance for commuters and for the shopkeepers doing their businesses.

A ray of hope emerged for Karachi’s residents in September when the first consignment of 40 buses for the Service reached the city. A second consignment of 40 buses for the project arrived a month later in October.

Also in September, Umar said the project is a modern technology-based transport system, comprising a 22-kilometre dedicated corridor aimed at providing easier mobility and catering to the travel needs of 135,000 passengers per day.

The dedicated corridor will serve some of the most populated neighbourhoods of Karachi, covering Surjani Town to Guru Mandir and Numaish Chowrangi in Phase 1.


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