Signing Ceremony for ADB $235 Million Loan to Pakistan for Karachi BRT Red Line

News Release | 20 June 2020

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (20 June 2020) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Pakistan yesterday signed the loan agreement for a $235 million loan initially approved by the bank on 5 July 2019, to help develop a bus rapid transit (BRT) system in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city.

Secretary of the Economic Affairs Division Noor Ahmed and ADB Country Director for Pakistan Xiaohong Yang signed the agreement. The project will help deliver the 26.6-kilometer (km) Bus Rapid Transit Red Line corridor and feature innovative energy and climate resilience characteristics that will enhance access to quality public transport for the harbor city. The signing was witnessed by Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar.

“The project will bring a safe, reliable, and environmentally friendly mode of transport to Pakistan’s most populous city,” said Ms. Yang. “On behalf of ADB, I would like to thank the Government of Sindh for the strong collaboration and continued support during the preparation of this complex project. The BRT will significantly improve the commuting experience in Karachi, ease congestion, and improve the overall quality of life for people in the city.”

The project, developed and designed in partnership with the Transport and Mass Transit Department of the Sindh government, is currently going through procurement of civil works and services to fast-track implementation. The project will restructure the entire width of the Red Line BRT corridor, including the construction of 29 stations and dedicated lanes along the 26.6 km stretch; improvement of the mixed-traffic roadway with up to six lanes in each direction; inclusion of organized parking facilities and landscaped green areas in various locations; improvement of the drainage system to climate-proof the corridor; and installation of bicycle lanes, improved sidewalks, and energy-efficient street lights.

In addition, ADB will administer a $71.8 million loan from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank; a $71.8 million loan from Agence Française de Développement; and a $37.2 million loan and a $11.8 million grant from the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which will finance climate change adaptation and mitigation measures, such as the incremental cost of the transition to compressed natural gas (CNG) hybrid bus technology, and the construction of a biogas plant to produce CNG from cattle waste. The project, which is expected to save 240,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year, is the first transport-related initiative approved by GCF.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.