Karachi: A state-of-the-art public bus service has been launched in Hyderabad, the second largest city of Sindh.
New diesel-electric hybrid buses have been introduced in Hyderabad as an expansion of the Sindh government’s intra-district People’s Bus Service.
The large air-conditioned buses imported from China have special space reserved for differently-abled passengers. The buses have automatic door systems, fire-fighting equipment, a bell system for halting the bus at the passenger stop, and a cell phone charging facility. People’s Bus Service became operational in Karachi and Larkana on different routes earlier this year.
The National Radio & Telecommunication Corporation, a federal entity, has been managing the People’s Bus Service on behalf of the Sindh Mass Transit Authority (SMTA).
The new bus service has been launched on a 15 kilometre route within Hyderabad city, from Hyder Chowk to Hatri police station, having 13 passenger stops. The passengers will pay a flat fare of Rs 50 for each ride. Earlier, the trial bus service was launched in the city on November 1 to check the suitability of the roads on the designated route.
The SMTA announced that passengers would travel on the buses free of charge for the initial three days of the service.
Sindh Information and Transport Minister, Sharjeel Memon, said the introduction of the People’s Bus Service in Hyderabad was in accordance with the resolve of the provincial government to gradually modernise public transportation services in all main urban centres of the province.
He said that a similar bus service would be launched in Sukkur city next month.
Memon said Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah had sanctioned billions of rupees to improve the civic infrastructure in Hyderabad which was massively damaged due to heavy monsoon rains earlier in the year.
He said the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board had also formally launched its services in Hyderabad after Karachi to efficiently collect and dispose of municipal waste generated in the city.
He said the transport and amenity facilities for the residents of Hyderabad were being upgraded despite the provincial government having to spend massive funds for the rehabilitation of the homeless flood victims and calamity-hit farmers.