PESHAWAR: The proposed multi-billion rupees Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system project to be executed by the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa(KP) government to improve the public transport system in Peshawar will be accessible to 17.54% of the city’s total population or a total of over 0.5m individuals.
The analysis of the passengers is based on union council’s data collected for preparation of the preliminary design of Rs35 billion BRT project. This amount will be taken as a soft loan from Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The BRT design documents, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune, said in order to increase the passengers’ coverage, a ‘direct-service’ operational plan has been chalked out.
According to the plan, the BRT routes will be extended beyond the corridor to provide ease to the population living in the urban localities of the city. The proposed corridor of the BRT has been surrounded with high commuting activities making the system ideal for passengers.
Commercial and business areas along the GT Road fall on the main road, whereas the highly populated residential areas will be served by the secondary roads.
Residential area of Hayatabad and some proportion of industrial area are located on the western part of the corridor while Peshawar’s populous Karkhano market is situated on its south.
BRT vehicle and design
Two types of buses – of 9-metre and 12-metre – will be used for Peshawar BRT. The 9-metre buses will be plying on the smaller roads outside the corridor such as Kohat Road, Bara Road, and residential roads at Hayatabad.
The 12-meter buses will be used on the corridor on the GT Road. These buses will be used at a later stage after the demand increases and the design proposed can already accommodate buses with 18-meter length.
All the buses used by the BRT will be run on diesel and not on the CNG as the CNG can increase the bus price as well as the operating and maintenance cost. Also, the CNG poses problems with limited tank size, which requires buses to refill it after every 120-150 km.
The buses have been proposed to have doors on both sides and low-floor entrance with a width of 3-35cm to ensure easy access from the road side onto the bus.
The proposed route for BRT system in the design documents will have 28 stations in the preferred alignment, with three stations to be built elevated. The average distance between the stations will be 964-metre but few of the stations will be located as a distance less than 700-metre while a few will be built 1km apart from each other.
Proposed fare for BRT buses
In the preliminary design of the BRT system, it has been proposed to apply distance-based regime, and a smart card system for the payment from the passengers to automatically calculate the distance travelled by each passenger.
Maximum fare has been proposed to be Rs50 for a distance of more than 40km. Any passenger using the BRT buses in one day will only need to pay a maximum of Rs50, even if he travels more than three times by using BRT facility.
Smart card for fare payment method
It has been proposed in the BRT design to use smart card for fare payment method. It is proposed that TransPeshawar should invest in producing these cards and sell it to the passengers free of cost initially for six months.
After six months, the passengers will have to pay extra Rs100 as a payment of the card. With smartcard, the passengers’ database will also be maintained by TransPeshawar.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 11th, 2016.