- Initially, the bus will run between Malir Halt and Tower
Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto on Monday inaugurated the intra-city Peoples Bus Service in Karachi, reported Aaj News.
The scheme is a part of the city’s mass transit ecosystem and will offer low-cost commute to people during a time when fuel prices have hit record high in the country: the prevailing price of petrol in Pakistan is Rs233.89 per litre while diesel is being sold at Rs263.31 per litre.
In the first phase, the bus will run between Malir Halt and Tower on a 29.5 kilometre route. The fare with amount to Rs25-50.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Sindh Information Minister Saeed Ghani said that being a large city, Karachi desperately needed this facility.
“We had been working to introduce this for a long time but it was delayed due to several reasons,” he said. “The routes and number of buses will increase with time.”
He stressed that the surge in petrol price had placed a huge burden on low-income earners in Pakistan and these buses would act as an alternative for people who are looking to switch from cars and bikes to public transport.
Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab tweeted: “Happy to inform that Peoples Bus Service has become operational and will operate from Malir Halt to Tower. Sindh government has procured 240 new hybrid air conditioned buses for Karachi which will operate on 7 different routes."
Separate seats have been reserved for disabled people on the vehicle and it also offers access to wheel chairs.
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, Transport Minister Sharjeel Memon and Information Minister Saeed Ghani also attended the ceremony.
Back in December 2021, former Prime Minister Imran Khan had Inaugurated the Green Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project, worth nearly Rs17 billion. PTI had described it as Karachi’s ‘first modern transport system'.
The federal government has procured 80 buses as part of a plan to offer affordable public transport to the residents of Karachi. It was estimated that the bus service would facilitate some 300,000 passengers daily.