Tuesday May 21, 2024

Increase in BRT Peshawar fare on cards to 'cut billions of rupees' loss'

Multiple options including raising the BRT fare is being considered to reduce the loss, say sources

By Maham Qureshi
April 15, 2024
A BRT Peshawar bus is parked at a depot in Peshawar in this picture released on November 26, 2023. —X/@TransPeshawar
A BRT Peshawar bus is parked at a depot in Peshawar in this picture released on November 26, 2023. —X/@TransPeshawar

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is deliberating over hiking the fare of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Peshawar in an attempt to control the billions of rupees’ loss per year, Geo News reported quoting sources as saying on Monday.

The official sources said the yearly loss of BRT Peshawar crossed Rs6 billion, hence, multiple options including raising the BRT fare were being considered to overcome the loss.

The sources said that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Urban Mobility Authority has proposed to the provincial finance department to increase the fare. They said that if the fare is increased by Rs5 per passenger then it can generate an additional revenue of Rs670 million. Whereas, an additional revenue of Rs1.36 billion could be generated if Rs10 is hiked.

They said that despite the growth in the number of people travelling in BRT, the subsidy is being jacked up every year. Each passenger is being given a subsidy of Rs50 from the government treasury, as a fare of Rs28 is being collected from a passenger, while the cost is Rs80, they maintained.

As per the government sources, BRT's monthly cost of electricity and diesel is more than Rs200 million. The finance department has sought more proposals from the relevant authorities to save the BRT from losses.

The sources said a recommendation was forwarded to the caretaker government to enhance the BRT fare, but they left the decision to the elected government.

Advisor to KP Chief Minister for Finance Muzzammil Aslam told Geo News that it is inevitable to increase the fare of BRT as inflation has increased. He has asked for a proposal to increase the fare of BRT as little as possible, he said.

Aslam said TransPeshawar has been directed to cut expenditures of the BRT. The company has also been directed to review contracts with contractors, he said.

Chief Executive Officer TransPeshawar Tariq Usman, while talking to Geo News, said that the loss of BRT has increased because of not increasing the fares. Electricity and diesel prices have doubled in two years but the fare has not been increased, he said.