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February 7, 2019

BRT buses parked in the open as depots not yet built in Peshawar


February 7, 2019

PESHAWAR: The 20 buses of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) have been parked in the open at Hayatabad as none of the three depots could be built in the six-month stipulated time of the project.

The first lot of Zu Peshawar buses had arrived in Peshawar on Monday from China. The 200 remaining buses of the BRT fleet will come soon. The TransPeshawar representative in a statement said that the buses were transported from China via the seaport and then were brought to Peshawar via road in the most economical and safe manner. The current lot of 20 vehicles comprise of 12-meter-long buses. A total of 220 buses will be purchased by TransPeshawar for the project.

Out of these, 155 are 12-meter-long while 65 are 18-meter-long buses. First of its kind, these buses are hybrid and can run on diesel as well as electric. The buses are environment-friendly and tend to reduce carbon emission in the city.

According to a careful estimate by Asian Development Bank (ADB), Peshawar BRT after implementation would reduce 31,000 tons of CO2 emissions when compared to the existing transport system of Peshawar. The buses will be Wifi-enabled with AVL (Automatic Vehicle Location) facility – a feature to track the real-time location of the bus. A 12-meter bus has the capacity to accommodate 75 passengers.

The TransPeshawar representative said it would ensure inclusion of all citizens of Peshawar may it be students, women, elderly or differently-abled. A significant feature of BRT bus is UAS – Universal Access System, which is one of the key factors used to globally rate/evaluate BRT systems.

The buses are parked in the open at Hayatabad. There is concern that the hi-tech buses could be damaged due to the vagaries of nature if the three planned depots aren’t constructed in the near future.

When asked if any measures have been taken to protect the costly buses from the vagaries of nature and unexpected and inexplicable environmental conditions, Nauman Manzoor, Director Media TransPeshawar, said that currently the buses have been parked at Hayatabad and would remain there till the depots are constructed “Worldwide these buses are made strong enough to fight tough weather and environmental conditions,” he argued. “Many bus depots provide secured gates, but they may not have roofs, etc,” he added.

The TransPeshawar official said the government through the Peshawar Development Authority (PDA), the executing agency of the BRT project, was providing security to the buses.

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