50 electric buses to be seen on Karachi roads in two weeks, says Sharjeel

Published November 8, 2022
An electric bus passes through the Clifton area as part of its trial run on Monday. —PPI
An electric bus passes through the Clifton area as part of its trial run on Monday. —PPI

KARACHI: The people of Karachi would soon witness some 50 Europe-manufactured electric buses on city roads in less than two weeks after the provincial government conducted the test drive of first batch of the buses in the metropolis on Monday.

The test drive, from Clifton Block-5 to Seaview, was witnessed by Minister of Information and Transport and Mass Transit Sharjeel Inam Memon, Minister for Labour Saeed Ghani, Adviser to Chief Minister for Prisons Ejaz Khan Jakhrani, Administrator Barrister Murtaza Wahab and senior officials who took a ride in the E-bus.

Talking to reporters, Mr Memon said the routes of the buses were not decided yet, but it would be finalised in next 10 days to formally launch the service.

“These buses will be at public service in next 10 days after the completion of its test drive,” he said.

“These are European buses so there’s a suggestion to fix routes of those roads which usually have lesser traffic congestion. The survey on routes is simultaneously under way and soon they will be decided. But let me congratulate the people of Karachi. This city is lucky that the test drive of first ever environment friendly electric buses service is launched here,” he said.

Says efforts being made to use solar energy for charging of buses

He admitted the public transport faced huge challenges and it’s not Karachi alone, but it remained a gigantic task across Pakistan amid growing population and cost of travelling.

The Sindh government, he said, was making every possible effort to solve the issue across the province and provide modern and comfortable commuting facilities to the people.

“That’s the reason that our [transport] department is taking full ownership of all public transport projects,” said Mr Memon.

“It is our priority to complete all public transport projects in Karachi and other major cities on time. The company working with us on electric buses project has assured that it would bring solar energy system to charge these buses and in this regard solar energy centres would be established here in the city,” he added.

He referred to talks of the provincial government with international public transport companies to establish their production unit facilities in Karachi, which will boost the industrial value of the province and create new employment opportunities.

When asked about the proposed fare of the upcoming electric buses routes, the minister said it would be less than what was being charged by the Peoples Bus service.

“The Peoples Bus Service charges maximum Rs50. Only one of its routes that starts and culminates in Gulshan-i-Hadeed costs Rs100 per passenger because of the huge distance,” he added.

Project Director National Radio & Telecommunication Corporation (NRTC) Sohaib Shafeeq on this occasion shared key features of the buses saying that each vehicle is 12-metre long buses with seating capacity for 32 people and two dedicated seats for special persons.

“But apart from people sitting, the bus can carry up to 90 people at a time. These buses are charged in 20 minutes and are capable of covering a distance of 240-kilometre in a single charge. A charging system has been installed at our depot in UP Mor area of North Karachi,” he added.

Published in Dawn, November 8th, 2022

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