Karachi Green Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), the much-awaited mass transit project is finally operational now. Citizens who use to travel on the route linking the Surjani Town and Numaish Chowrangi will now get a chance to use a new and comfy means of transport. Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurated this project on December 10, 2021, and on December 25, 2021, the service started limited operations for citizens. The city of lights has long faced severe public transportation problems. The Green Line Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) project aims to address all these problems. Initially, with 80 modern buses, the project has started providing transportation facilities to thousands of people in the Central and West districts. The people of Karachi are pleased with this initiative which certainly will relieve the transportation scarcity in the city. Karachi has a population exceeding 25 million but lacked a reliable transportation system. This project will provide ease for the people of Karachi to commute. However, there is a need to further expand the project or provide some facilities to other parts of the city. There are hundreds of women students at universities and colleges who rely on public transport to reach their institutions. This service can really be helpful for all those daily commuters on this route. The project is indeed a blessing for the people of Karachi, thereby the response of the public has been impressive. As per the details which are very important for the common citizens, the fare for a one-way paper ticket is Rs 55 per passenger. For those buying Green Line BRTS Cards, a discount is available. The card is available at the ticketing counters for Rs 100. Once bought, the card can be recharged with any amount at any time. The minimum fare for a card-carrying passenger starts is Rs 15 and after every two kilometers, it increases by Rs 2. Fare for the 21 kilometer stretch from Surjani Town to Numaish Chowrangi is PKR 55 per person. The buses will be operating from 7 am to 10 pm.
Prime Minister Imran Khan unveiled a financial package worth Rs1.1 trillion for Karachi’s transformation to address the prolonged municipal and infrastructure issues of the country’s economic hub. 100 projects under the transformation package have been planned which include the finalization of the K-4 project for the supply of bulk water supply to Karachi, removing illegal construction and encroachments along stormwater drains or nullahs, and constructing 6,000 apartments. Other projects under the KTP deals with revitalizing the circular railway, construction of routes for BRT, carrying out maintenance of roads, and modernizing the city’s infrastructure. The BRT Karachi project cost was Rs 35.5 billion and it is completed with a purpose to provide a convenient and safe means of travel to up to 135,000 commuters from the West and Central districts of Karachi to access the Central Business District. The 21-kilometer track has 20 stations, ticketing rooms, escalators, and stairs equipped with backup generators to ensure an uninterrupted power supply. The project has been sponsored by the Ministry of Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives through Sindh Infrastructure Development Company (SIDCL).
According to a 2019 study by car-parts company Mister Auto that looked at 100 major cities, Karachi ranked as having the worst public transport system globally. In the previous pattern, it serves about 42% of Karachi’s commuters, relying on decades-old, overloaded 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. The latest attempts to bring Karachi’s transportation system into the modern era is a way forward and its success will further pave the way towards the transport-related infrastructural development of Karachi.