Karachi’s BRT Green and Orange lines now go hand in hand

Published May 17, 2024
A view of an Orange Line bus at a station in Karachi. — X/sharjeelinam
A view of an Orange Line bus at a station in Karachi. — X/sharjeelinam
Sindh Transport Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon along with officials inspects the Board Office Interchange Station on Thursday.—PPI
Sindh Transport Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon along with officials inspects the Board Office Interchange Station on Thursday.—PPI

KARACHI: The Sindh government on Thursday launched an integration system connecting the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) Green and Orange lines, which is expected to increase ridership of the government-run transport services manifold.

Sindh Minister for Transport Sharjeel Inam Memon while inaugurating the much-awaited integration also announced the automatic fare payment cards for Orange Line next month, calling the recent initiatives “vision” of President Asif Ali Zardari and Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari for the people of Karachi.

“After this integration, all Orange Line buses will travel to the Green Line Board Office Station, from where passengers can board the Green Line via a pedestrian bridge,” he said while talking to reporters at the Orange Line buses depot.

“Additionally, passengers who need to return to Orangi after disembarking from the Green Line can do so through the Orange Line bus. Now we are very much close to fare payment cards system for Orange Line and the system is expected to be fully operational within a month. We aim to provide immediate relief to the people without any inconvenience,” he added.

The Green Line Board Office Station has been made an interchange where the two bus lines merge

Despite having the BRT system since December 2021, hundreds of thousands of people in Karachi were unable to avail full benefit of the multi-billion-rupee service because of the non-execution of the planned merger of these two major lines.

The delay kept around over a million Karachiites away from enjoying an economical and comfortable travelling service. The Green Line BRT project, which was made operational in December 2021, currently serves with 80 buses operating on its dedicated route with an average ridership of 55,000 people per day over a 20.9-kilometre route.

The BRT Orange Line is a 3.8km service with 20 buses on the main track. In a briefing to the caretaker government by the Sindh transport department in October 2023, it was informed that the Orange Line ridership had been recorded at 3,000 per day and the merger between the lines could increase the number of passengers from 3,000 to 25,000 per day. Despite a surge in fuel prices in recent months, the Sindh government has kept the fares of these provincial government-run transport services unchanged. The transport minister vowed to continue the same policy.

“The recent cut in petrol prices is a welcome sign,” Mr Memon replied to a question. “But you all know that when the fuel prices were increased, we refrained from raising the fares of the Peoples Bus Service. The Sindh government remains committed to maintaining the fares of the Peoples Bus Service under all circumstances.”

Published in Dawn, May 17th, 2024

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