The project will contribute to developing a sustainable UTS in Karachi through the delivery of a bus rapid transit (BRT) corridor, focusing on accessibility and people's mobility needs. It will aim at organizing the urban growth and public space along the selected corridor through integration of land-use and transport planning (transit-oriented development), making the city more pleasant to live in, providing a holistic solution for integrated urban mobility, and bearing a demonstration value as no modern mass transit system exists in Karachi yet.
The project impact will be developed sustainable UTS in Karachi. The project outcome will be improved quality of public transport along a selected corridor in Karachi. The project will consist of the following two interlinked outputs.
Output 1 (infrastructure): BRT corridor restructuring. This will include construction of (i) a BRT route designed and built following international best practices and quality standards along either the Green, Red or Yellow line; (ii) sidewalks, on-street parking, mixed-traffic lanes and NMT lane along the BRT; (iii) a high-capacity drainage system along the corridor; (iv) BRT depot; and (v) improvement of access roads for NMT and feeder services. Energy-efficient streetlights and intelligent transport systems for traffic management along the corridor will also be procured and installed under this output. The construction of associated infrastructure such as intercity bus terminals and off-street parking may be considered as well.
Output 2: Effective project management and sustainable BRT operations. This will include: (i) strengthening capacity of the Sindh Mass Transit Coordination Authority (SMTCA) and the Sindh Mass Transit Company (SMTC); (ii) structuring and delivering viable PPP arrangements through transaction advisory service (TAS); (iii) designing the BRT operational plan and business model; (iv) facilitating a bus industry transition through negotiations and capacity building for private bus operators selected to operate the BRT; (v) setting up a fleet scrapping program and compensation mechanism for non-participating operators; (vi) building capacity of the traffic police to enforce parking, street vendors' policy, and other traffic rules; (vii) implementing a communication and marketing plan; and (viii) implementing an urban development strategy along the corridor.
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
Karachi is the largest city of Pakistan and its main seaport, economic and financial center. The population of this fast-expanding megacity grew annually by 4.2% since 1998, and is projected to grow from 18.9 million in 2010 to 27.6 million in 2020 and 31.6 million in 2030. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Karachi is consistently ranked as one of the world's most unlivable cities. Severe traffic congestion and induced air and noise pollution play a major role in these poor rankings. With limited infrastructure and low level of public services, the city's urban transport system (UTS)2 fails to provide mobility for all people. Car and motorcycle ownership (49.7 and 47.4 per 1000 inhabitants in 2010) is still low but increasing fast with a growing middle class. From 1988 to 2010, the number of registered cars in Karachi more
than tripled, reaching 940,000, while the number of motorcycles quadrupled, reaching 900,000. Maintaining the same growth rate, there could be up to 2.1 million cars and 2.7 million motorcycles in 2025. With other factors such as weak traffic management to organize many competing modes, lack of transport demand management and inefficient public transport, this rapid motorization exacerbates congestion and leads to increased pollution.
Karachi's UTS in 2012 is characterized by low mobility, long commuter trip times, and the following modal share: (i) 21.6% of all trips are made by private modes [motorcycles:10.9%; cars: 10.7%]; (ii) 22.2% by public transport [buses]; (iii) 10.4% by paratransit modes; and (iv) 45.8% are still non-motorized, made on foot or bicycles. Private modes represent 84% of all vehicles plying on Karachi's street but transport only 40% of total passengers, while buses represent only 4.5% of all vehicles but transport 42% of total passengers. Approximately 10,000 large and mini buses, shared between a multitude of semi-public and private operators, run through the city. The level of service is nonetheless deficient: the bus fleet is in poor condition; bus stops are rudimentary, without information on schedule or itinerary; the ticketing system is obsolete; and operators compete for passengers, worsening congestion and impairing safety. Traffic-based collisions are increasing, affecting pedestrians, mostly the poorest and women.
The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) provided assistance to the Government of Sindh to jointly develop the detailed and comprehensive Karachi Transportation Improvement Project, comprising a Transport Master Plan and Feasibility Study for the Green and Red BRT lines. In parallel, the government is currently experimenting a full public-private partnership (PPP) model to implement the Yellow BRT line. The project will build on these initiatives, following a mixed model combining standard public financing for the main infrastructure, and PPP schemes for bankable components. A stand-alone project loan is proposed as the financing modality since the project focuses on a single BRT corridor.