The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to provide a loan of $235m (£187.6m) for the development of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system to improve the public transport system in Karachi, Pakistan.
The Karachi Bus Rapid Transit Red Line Project will include a 26.6km Bus Rapid Transit Line Red Line corridor and associated facilities. The project is expected to benefit 1.5 million people or about 10% of Karachi’s population, who live within 1km of a Red Line BRT station. The Red Line BRT routes are expected to be used by more than 300,000 passengers per day.
Work on restructuring the entire width of the Red Line BRT corridor will include the construction of 29 stations and dedicated lanes along the 26.6km stretch, along with mixed-traffic roadway with up to six lanes in each direction.
The project will also include on-street parking and landscaped green areas at several locations. Furthermore, the drainage system will be improved to make the corridor climate-proof. Non-motorised transport infrastructure will also be built with bicycle lanes, improved sidewalks and energy-efficient street lights.
To ensure sustainable BRT operations in Karachi, the project will also improve the capacity of transport authorities, and design the BRT business model and subsidy-free operations.
It will implement a bus industry transition programme, which will include a fleet scrapping programme and compensation mechanism. It will also include the delivery of BRT fleet, feeder e-vehicles, intelligent transport system and a biogas plant.
ADB has agreed to partially administer two $100m (£80m) loans from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Agence Française de Développement to jointly finance the civil works and equipment costs.
ADB will also provide $37.2m (£29.7m) loan and an $11.8m (£9.4m) grant from the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
ADB Central and West Asia principal urban development specialist David Margonsztern said: “There is a need for a more sustainable, reliable, safe, and gender and environment-friendly transportation system in a city as dense and rapidly growing as Karachi. A sustainable transportation system will not only solve the city’s mobility issue but also its growing pollution problem.
“The BRT system, with its innovative features, will address all these issues, improving the overall quality of lives of people in the city.”