New electric bus service to be launched in Karachi

The provincial government of Sindh says it is all set to launch a new bus service comprising a fleet of environment-friendly electric vehicles in Pakistan’s largest city of Karachi.

Information and Transport Minister for Sindh Sharjeel Inam Memon said the launch of electric buses would improve the environment of the city where toxic emissions from vehicles contribute a major portion to poor air quality.

The test drive of the “completely environment-friendly” bus service was made on Monday. Numerous senior PPP leaders, including Provincial Minister for Labour and Human Resources Saeed Ghani, were part of the test drive. Ghani also shared pictures of the electric bus while experiencing the trial run on the roads of Karachi.

Test drive route

The bus will run from Sindh Archive Complex to Sea View during the test drive. The electric buses would be formally operational for commuters after 10 days of the test drive, Sharjeel told the media.

Final routes

Final routes for the bus service will be decided upon completion of test drives. The buses will be run on routes with a lesser amount of traffic since they were 12 meters long, the minister added.

“Initially, 50 electric buses have arrived in Karachi. We are trying to set up a manufacturing plant for electric buses in Karachi, for which negotiations are underway with Chinese, European, and local companies,” he said.

According to the news reports, these buses are adept at covering a distance of 240 km on a charge of 20 minutes.

Bus fare

The transport minister said that the fare of the new bus service will be less than the Red Buses and that the project would also be extended to Sindh’s other major cities.

Previous trial of the Electric buses

The sustainability of the newly launched bus service is still in doubt since a similar project of electric buses was also launched last year which could not last long.

“The Sindh government in March 2021 took a similar initiative and launched the country’s first electric bus project in Karachi with a promise that by the end of the year, the number of these environment-friendly vehicles would rise to 100,” said a source aware of the details.

The service was launched to run from Tower to Sohrab Goth and the fare for one stop was fixed at Rs.10. However, it didn’t prove sustainable and the only route initiated, came to a close, according to the source.

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