For a long time, people have been making an alien comparison between BRT Peshawar and metro projects in Multan, Lahore and the twin cities. They have been following a misguiding mirage and false news ad rumors about BRT leading them nowhere. Here is an honest comparison between Peshawar BRT and Metros in Punjab, Pakistan based on statistics and ground information for all the interested people.
Distinct Features of Peshawar BRT
ZU Express Service
We all are aware of the general concept of an international bus system. One of the big differences between BRT Peshawar and Punjab’s metros is the express service provided by the BRT Peshawar buses on the same corridor. The service is named as ZuExpress Service and it will make only dedicated stops along the corridor. Zu Express Service of BRT Peshawar will skip 23 stations along the route and make only 7 stops on dedicated bus stations in order to move rapidly along the corridor.
Passing Lanes for BRT Express Service
Peshawar BRT has a unique feature of facilitating the commuters. Unlike any metro project, an Express Service will move rapidly along the corridor. For this purpose special passing lanes have been constructed for Express buses to travel smoothly and swiftly along the corridor and the buses can pass each other without any problem.
Click here to read all about the feeder routes and entire corridor of Peshawar BRT
Staging facility cum Commercial Area
Unlike any metro project in the past, the main BRT bus stations with heavy traffic are equipped with attached commercial areas where both the commuters and tourists can top-up their essential needs and move on towards their destinations. Shops and huts will facilitate the travellers in their daily commute.
The Zu card is an all-purpose token for traveling in the buses, availing the service of ZU Cycles, and even use the bike sharing system in BRT Peshawar. Every person will have his own ZU card and he can use it to travel without the hassle of fair payments or carrying cash for fair purposes.
Park & Ride facilities at Multiple Deport
One revolutionary distinction held by BRT Peshawar over any such previous project in Pakistan is the parking facilities for commuters. People can reach any designated depot along the route and park their vehicle in Peshawar BRT’s huge parking plazas. This facility will tone down the raging traffic on the city roads as the parking plazas have been strategically constructed at locations having a high number of vehicles leaving for the roads.
No such facility has been engineered by any previous metro project and BRT park and ride facility is a proud pioneer.
Peshawar BRT ZU Hybrid Buses
Every single bus in the Peshawar BRT is operational with a hybrid system. The diesel-electric buses will run with the minimum carbon footprint. Every bus has electric batteries that allow the bus to be operational for at least 36 hours. With dedicated charging stations at the Chamkani depot, every bus will combine diesel and electric energy for a more fuel efficient and environment friendly mechanism for running on the roads.
Passenger Capacity Of BRT Peshawar
The Peshawar BRT has two types of buses on the route. 18 meter long buses will be dedicated to the main corridor and have a passenger capacity of 125 at any time. Whereas the 12 meter buses will be traveling on the BRT feeder routes while housing 75 passengers at any given time. The off-route or feeder buses will be moving throughout the city collecting passengers along the way and joining the main corridor at various spots with an estimated daily ridership of 400,000.
Feeder Routes On Peshawar BRT
This is another mechanism for operating a mega project which will allow more people to use the facility. As for metro projects, only dedicated commuters can utilize the facility who live near the main corridor and no feeder buses can facilitate them.
A total of 7 feeder routes have been initially selected. Heavily populated areas yet lying on the outskirts of Peshawar have been covered by the BRT feeder routes in Peshawar.
Feeder routes will be covered by the 12 meter buses and consist of the following routes on initial basis.
Charsadda Road’s feeder route is leading all the way upto Shah Alam Bridge with 18 stops along the way.
The second feeder route will start at Kohat Adda bus station and join the main corridor near Dabgari Gardens while covering a massive area with 9 stops along the old bus routes.
Another special feeder route has been divided into two sections. Starting from Pishtakhara, moving along the corridor for a while and ending in the main Chamkani stop, this feeder route of BRT Peshawar has a total of 20 stations separate from the main corridor’s bus stations.
The remaining 3 feeder routes have been designed to cover Hayatabad, currently the largest housing society of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. These feeder routes start at the Mall of Hayatabad (Another iconic feature in BRT Peshawar) and snake around in the entire society while ending at Karkhano market. 32 stops cover these 3 feeder routes.
Cycling Facility Along the Entire Corridor
One of the many unique features in BRT Peshawar is a cycling lane along a long complete corridor. With ZuCycle, pedestrians can enjoy a healthy commuting service while using the same payment methods for BRT Peshawar. ZuCycles are gender neutral bicycles and can be used on dedicated tracks on the corridor.
Bike Sharing Scheme (BSS) – One of the Kind!
The BSS is a very interesting and innovative feature of Peshawar BRT. It will allow pedestrians. Citizens can bring their own cycles to the track and commute on a traffic-free dedicated route. Special attention has been given to availability of such facilities near universities and colleges where students can easily avail these features.
Pedestrian Walk Way Along the Roads
The funds allocated to this mega-project include a wide pedestrian walkway running along the complete route. No such facility has been included in the previously constructed metro projects.
Brail Tracks And Ramps For The Physically Challenged
Special brail tracks have been laid down in every single station along the corridor and even in the shopping areas for people with visual disabilities. They can determine their direction with their sticks using the brail tracks and avoid going in the wrong direction. Also, for people with mobility issues, special ramps have been set up at every single station along the main corridor. Some stations provided a better position for elevators, and ramps have been replaced with electric elevators to assist such people in getting to the stations. Every station has electric escalators and every commuter can reach the station easily.
Rest Rooms at every Single Station
The BRT Peshawar bus stations will be equipped with clean and well-maintained restrooms. This is also of a distinct feature that will facilitate the genuine needs of the commuters along the way. Special attention has been given for gender segregation in the restrooms for convenient use of everyone.
He is another distinct and other feature of the BRT Buses, Free Wifi! Every bus of the project is going to be equipped with a high bandwidth wifi facility. This will not only allow the general commuters to enjoy the journey and the tourists to stay online with their families. But also the freelancing community can operate easily while being on the go. Free Wifi is also available on every single bus station along the main corridor of BRT Peshawar.
Gender Friendly Commute
PTI government holds the comfort of people important in public transport. To help in avoiding any unwanted cases of sexual harassment a gender-based segregation system is integrated into the working mechanism of the complete system.
Commercial Kiosks with Pedestrian Bridges
Ticketing facilities have been made super accessible for the general public by placing them on pedestrian bridges and then connecting them with the stations. Commuters can even avail their traveling cards from the machines without the need of any operator. The cards can also be topped up with the machines or even JazzCash, EasyPaisa, or Upaisa accounts.
Unlike any metro project in Pakistan and many other countries in the world, Peshawar BRT has arranged for universal accessibility for every passenger. They can access the bus stations through elevators and escalators for certain bus stations where the facilities are not feasible, comfortable ramps have been constructed for elderly people and persons with disabilities.
And Now the Cost Comparisons
The cost 66 billion Pakistani Rupees.
When it comes to the metro project and then compared with BRT Peshawar, some very interesting revelations come forth. Lahore Metro project in 2012 having 9 KM elevated track and 18 KM ground level corridor. The total cost of the project turned out to be 30 billion PKR.
Moving on Metro in twin cities near 23 KM of the corridor was completed in a whopping 24 billion Pakistani rupees. Multan Metro broke all the cost records as only 18.5 KM of the corridor has engulfed 29 billion PKR. The important thing here to keep in mind is that all the metro projects are limited in terms of picking up passengers.
BRT bus, on the other hand, picks up passengers from the entire city and then travel on the corridor at different speeds. Various additional and unique features have been briefly described above for which BRT stands out and yet the 27 KM long corridor of BRT Peshawar with 3 KM of underground passing with elevated section stretching out for 13 KM. more than 50 km of feeder routes have been repaired for the feeder buses and many other facilities are also included in the megaproject like 3 huge parking plazas, shopping malls, and recreational areas.
The cost of the project is estimated to be 66 billion Pakistani rupees. This cost is still way less than any Metro project in Pakistan while offering so much more to the public then just commute. Misleading and false reporting has been continuously damaging the true potential and Image of their first of its kind in mega project of Pakistan. We need to be aware of fake news and rumors about any such developmental projects.
BRT Peshawar comes to the canvas with the positive image of Pakistan for the international community and the public should support the government by rejecting negative propaganda and false reporting.