Thursday February 29, 2024

Commuters eye introduction of electric buses as a breath of fresh air

CDA welcomed the arrival of the first batch of 30 new electric buses being introduced on additional routes to provide climate-friendly

January 15, 2024
Electric buses can be seen in this image.—APP/File
Electric buses can be seen in this image.—APP/File

Islamabad:The introduction of metro buses on different routes has brought much relief to the commuters of the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawal­pindi, but still, plenty of daily travellers continue to face the issues of rude behaviour and attitude of drivers and conductors of public vans on those routes that are not traversed by the metro buses.

Several commuters, including the elderly, pointed out that the majority of drivers and conductors of public transport, including vans, who are plying vehicles on the Islamabad Expressway, were particularly impolite and indecent with the passengers, besides causing undue waste of precious time.

They demanded the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to look into the woes and immediately roll out recently purchased electric buses by linking these massively populated areas lying at the outer fringes of the Capital Territory, including the Islamabad Expressway.

Last week, the CDA welcomed the arrival of the first batch of 30 new electric buses being introduced on additional routes to provide climate-friendly means of transportation for the citizens of Islamabad.

According to the CDA media wing, following an agreement regarding the procurement of 160 electric buses from China, the first batch of the 30 new zero-emission buses arrived at the Zero Point bus terminal.

As announced, the second batch of electric vehicles (EVs) is expected to arrive in February or March this year, and the denizens hope that it will be utilized to facilitate them. In the meantime, frequent altercations took place in private vans daily due to unfair charging and self-inflated fares, particularly after the significant reduction in petroleum products, Muhammad Zareen Bacha, an employee of a private firm in Blue Area, told APP on Sunday.

He particularly mentioned public vans No. 136 and 124 and said that the majority of conductors seemed to be illiterate and did not produce a fare list whenever asked to by the travellers, as they often charged them extra.

Similar were the views of Ayesha Jabeen, a housewife, as she lamented the proper checks on the rude behaviour and conditions of public vans where extra passengers were forced to board without considering the seats allocated for women’s commuters.

Moreover, it is also observed that different vans have installed CNG cylinders and extracted fares equivalent to those fixed for the usage of petrol and diesel.

Zubair Talha, a NUML university student, says that he travels from the Police Foundation to H-9 daily and noted that these vans had installed CNG kits but never witnessed any relevant authority to check the safety of these kits or the fares charged by the van owners.

They also prolong their stay at different stops and waste precious time,” he says while wearing a peevish look. Sajjad Azhar, a senior journalist, writer, and resident of Media Town, regretted that a huge population was living in a dozen private societies nestled around the Expressway and were not linked with the Metro buses as they had to rush to Koral Chowk to catch the buses for their desired destination.