Research Analyst
June 7 - 13, 2010

Transportation network of any country is of vital importance to its development and affects all sectors through economic linkages. It ensures safe and timely travel, encourages business activities, and cuts down transportation cost while granting producers access to markets for their goods.

In the last twenty years a large number of Third World cities have made huge investments in trying to solve their traffic problems and in building mass transit systems for their commuters. Bangkok, Tehran, Manila, and Cairo to name a few have built hundreds of kilometers of expressways and hundreds of flyovers. Yet, their traffic conditions have not improved.

Traffic problems are not solved simply by building expressways and flyovers but by effective segregation of through and local traffic, fast and slow traffic, and the development of a rational land use policy and its implementation.




2004-05 7,791 78.18
2005-06 7,791 81.43
2006-07 7,791 83.89
2007-08 7,791 79.99
2008-09 p (Jul-mar) 7,791 63.00


Pakistan Railways provides an important mode of transportation in the country, catering to the large-scale movement of people and freight. Pakistan Railways carry 65 million passengers annually and operates 228 mail, express and passenger trains every day.

Pakistan Railways also operates special trains for various occasions. The Freight Business Unit with 12000 personnel operates over 200 freight stations on the railway network.

The Karachi Circular Railway, which opened in the early 1940s, is the only functioning Mass Transit System in Pakistan as of date. In 1976, Karachi was slated to begin work on an underground metro system, but plans have been put on hold since. The Lahore Metro is another proposal still in planning and is scheduled to be completed by 2020. Pakistan has been successful in foreign trade using Railway.


The Lyari Expressway project was launched on May 11, 2002 with the aim of serving as a commuting artery connecting Mauripur Road and the Super Highway and to alleviate the burden of traffic plying between Karachi Port and the Super Highway heading upcountry. It is 16.5 kilometer expressway that consists of four lanes on both sides, with two interchanges, five overpasses and five underpasses.


Ever since Karachi was managed by the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) extensive development work had been undertaken worth billion of rupees. Construction of roads, flyovers, and underpasses has smoothened traffic flow but public transport system remains in shamble.

The CNG buses pilot project, worth Rs250 million, had been launched in Karachi by the city district government. The purpose of putting CNG buses on the roads is to ensure that the citizens were provided with an urbanised transport system and in this regard, the CDGK has already started operating an e-ticketing facility, as these buses will not have conductors. The passengers will be able to buy traveling coupons from e-ticket booths established at different locations on the prescribed routes. This terminal had been established at a cost of Rs80 million, where every sort of facility is available for the buses. But unfortunately, numbers of traffic accidents resulting in death of people are increasing every day.


It seems that Karachi mass transit project is not implemented at present because of the very reason of conflict in commands that also draw strength out of political differences. Without under political clouts, transport mafia can not withstand legal actions against them for flouting openly traffic rules. Overlooking of this violation is also a compulsion for the government as there are no or less other alternatives of public transportation modes available with the public in Karachi.








2005 1,321,590 85,619 165,775 183,962 2,722,645
2006 1,375,419 89,105 172,530 191,454 2,833,540
2007 1,444,190 93,560 181,157 201,027 2,975,217
2008 1,487,516 96,367 186,592 207,058 3,064,474
2009 (Jul-Mar) 1,115,637 72,275 139,944 155,293 2,298,355

Failure of the provincial government in managing public transport has led to the development of transport mafia, which is fully supported by the local police. Every year billions of rupees are collected by the traffic police, provincial and city transport authorities, motor registration wing and people responsible for awarding fitness certificate.


Karachi transportation is bristled with bad roads, overcrowding and speeding which does not only lead to numerous road accidents but has also led to riots in the city. All these have been due to the neglect to the transport system of Karachi. The Sindh government should focus and implement Mass Transit System in order to fulfill the needs of growing population. This will help in economic prosperity of the city and the country.