How Is Public Transport Developing In Pakistan?
“Finding a captain for you”, “your captain is two minutes away”, and “your captain has arrived” are phrases that have made life easier for us. However, these are recent changes that were made to the public transport services in Pakistan. It wasn’t always like this. It wasn’t always so easy.
Not too long ago, it wasn’t easy for locals to travel around in Pakistan. There wasn’t a lot of public transport accessible and whatever was available, was often questionable. Previously, public transport services in Pakistan typically meant old busses that were heavy on the truck art theme, rickshaws, and later Qingqi.
Now, let’s talk about these busses. Initially, when they first started, they were much needed and welcomed change. They were all that people wanted as it allowed them to get to their desired places at very affordable and pocket-friendly prices. However, as time went by, the conditions of these buses started to dwindle and deteriorate. Due to neglect, lack of maintenance, and insufficient care, public transport services was no longer the public’s first choice; it became more of a last resort for people. It was unsafe to travel on public transport and so, it became something people turned to when there was no other option left and that too, with a heavy heart.
The taxis, rickshaws, and the Chinchi came later, after the busses, as the transport in Pakistan began to evolve. Due to a higher need, the public transport industry had to come up with other alternatives and thus, these means of transportation were born. While the rickshaws and the taxis allowed for the whole group of people to travel to the specific place they wanted to, the Quinqi took on shorter routes and became a smaller shared ride.
Metro buses are another relatively new concept introduced in the country. As you can see, transport in Pakistan isn’t up to date or in line with the modern world. In the last decade, railway lines have been constructed to serve as a route for these metro buses. These are a much cleaner and better alternative – a fact that is easily reflected in the ticket prices. These metro buses, that follow color-coded paths, such as the orange line or the green line, are only found in some of the main cities and are yet to be introduced in the smaller ones.
The industry of transport in Pakistan saw a huge change with the introduction of Uber and Careem in the country. These two private facilities worked together and helped in revamping the structure of the industry of transportation services in Pakistan. These are private companies that are not associated with the government yet, they have impacted the public transportation industry. As Careem and Uber readily offer different modes of transport to the public and that too in a reasonable price range, the masses of the population began to opt for these two facilities over public transport.
These two companies contented against an industry that had never faced any sort of competition before. They also brought forward other companies and competitions in the face of AirSwvl and Airlift which are airconditioned, clean, and safe buses that take on a set route and allow the public to move around. All these companies together have helped the public transportation services to update themselves and fall in line with the recent trends. This added competition has made them adopt new policies and follow a cleaner and safer approach.
While public transport in Pakistan still needs a lot of work, it can’t be wrong for us to assume that it will eventually change things for the better. The industry still has a long way to go but if it continues to evolve and takes on a faster speech and approach for it, it can heavily benefit the country and the population both.