Banning narrow-bodied minibuses prerequisite to improve commuting system

Karachi

Karachi: Government of Sindh has been reluctant to ban narrow-bodied public transport minibuses and coaches in Karachi, despite fully knowing that the wide-bodied buses are the only solution to poor commuting system in the port city.

Experts and transport engineers for years have been opining that thousands of narrow-bodied public transport minibuses and coaches plying on the city streets are the main cause of traffic congestion and to improve the situation the Sindh transport department should cancel route permits of these low passenger capacity vehicles and issue public transport route permits only to the wide-bodied buses.

Introduction of wide-bodied buses on all public transport routes of the city would result in catering more passengers on every bus route trip, which means less congestion of traffic on busy roads. In fact in no other mega urban city in the world saving Karachi these small low-capacity minibuses are given public transport route permits.

Experts say if the government is not able to lure public transporters to bring new wide-bodied buses on the city roads it may issue temporary route permits to old buses with a condition that these old buses would be replaced with new vehicles by their operators within three to five years.

Sindh transport minister Syed Nasir Hussain is committed to overhaul the public transport sector in the port city and he can devise a policy to phase out all minibuses and coaches in Karachi and replace them with wide-bodied buses on priority basis.

If the provincial government manages to improve public transport system in Karachi it would contribute a lot in improving economy by saving transportation costs and collection of more taxes besides facilitating citizens and improving soft image of the PPP-led Sindh government.

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