All Rawalpindi public transport vehicles stop to pick up and drop off passengers at places of their own choice, thus putting the passengers at risk.
“If you have missed your morning fitness exercise and you reside in Rawalpindi, don't sweat. Just try to get into any public transport, be it a Suzuki van, a wagon or a flying coach, at any Pindi stop during rush hours. You will do enough jogging and sweating to last the entire day,” jokes Syed Noor-ul-Hasan. “Owing to a lack of proper wagon, Suzuki stops, passengers in areas such as Chungi No. 22, Saddar, Jhandaha Cheechi, Rahimabad, Airport and Gulzar-e-Quaid, Shah Khalid Colony, Fauji Tower, PAF, Sultanpura, Chandni Chowk, National Market, Kali Tanki, Haidery Chowk, College Chowk, Siddique Chowk, National Bank and Pindora Chungi route, are put to severe hardship,” says Imran Abbas. “It is difficult to predict where exactly a vehicle will stop. Every time a vehicle arrives, passengers, irrespective of their age, run after it, risking their lives on the busy main road. As all vehicles stop at the place of their own choice. Drivers seldom care about the travellers’ safety and drive away the moment any passenger tries to step inside the vehicle,” says Rahat Kazmi. “Incidents of aged persons getting hurt while boarding vehicles are common here. As there is no designated public transport stop, not even like the muddy one of Khanna Pul for the vehicles to stop. All public transport vehicles come to a halt at the same place on either side of the road. This causes traffic snarls, especially during morning and evening peak hours,” says Payam Haideri. Tanvir Zaidi says: “Lack of an enquiry counter and name boards specifying routes have only added to the confusion. Passengers, especially those who are new to the city, have to depend on drivers and conductors to guide them to board the right bus. A simple lapse on the part of the passenger and he might land up in an unknown area of the city.” “Passengers living on Airport Road have to walk up to different ‘so-called’ stops to get the transport. The stops here are of little use as a very small number of vehicles ply from these points despite the great demand for public transport. Often vehicles of other routes are found here,” says Murtaza Hussain. “Catching the public transport is too challenging a task. On many roads of the city there is no shelter for passengers to protect them from sweltering heat or rain nor there a public toilet. City authority seems to be bothered about only hiking bus fares and have no time to solve passengers' problems,” says Tazeem Abbas.