Stories about mass transit

Karachi, a story of neglect since time immemorial

Karachi has been a story of neglect since time immemorial. Perhaps the only sincere effort that was done to improve the infrastructure of this great city was during General Pervez Musharraf’s time when the then mayor of Karachi, Naimatullah Khan, and later on Mustafa Kamal, had tried to restore the glory of Karachi. For the first time, the denizens of Karachi watched their city beginning to evolve into a thriving metropolis. The ‘I own Karachi’ initiative, conceived by Kamal and his team, was a brilliant idea aimed at encouraging citizens to be more active and responsible members of the ...

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Bring an underground subway system to Karachi already!

Travelling back home from work is always a tough and tiring job in any metropolitan city across the world, but in Karachi, this experience can be downright torturous. Motor-cyclists and rickshaw drivers squeezing in from every tiny little space they can manage to find, rash bus drivers, security protocols – the never ending list just drives us underprivileged car drivers crazy. A while ago, while I was in Ukraine for the Euro cup, travelling via the tube in Kiev city, my hosts, a middle class Ukrainian couple, inquired about the subway system in Karachi. I very casually told them that we did not ...

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Functional cities need mass transit

Much has been said and written about lack of predictable and efficient public transport system in Pakistan’s major cities – to no avail. Former mayor of Karachi, Mustafa Kamal, who built a swirling network of flyovers and signal-free corridors during his four-year tenure, was smarter than that to realise, and voice, that adding more roads was only a short-term solution. True unclogging of our major cities’ blocked arteries would happen when you remove a significant number of vehicles from the road, which is only possible when you provide commuters with a viable public transport option. But the argument for a mass ...

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Traffic chaos in Lahore, a public policy failure

Traffic in Lahore is chaotic, unruly and the roads are often jam packed with traffic of all sorts. Increasing traffic poses a big challenge for all those institutes responsible for planning, devising and implementing transport policies. Traffic is chaotic because drivers, whether of a bus, wagon, car, rickshaw or motorcycle, like driving in their own peculiar way. They are always in such a hurry that most of the time they even forget whether they intended to turn left or right. They carelessly park their vehicles on the sides of congested roads without realising that their vehicle may end up blocking ...

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