Karachi might be getting electric buses soon. A Chinese company has presented a project to the Mayor of Karachi which consists of 2,000 electric buses at a cost of $600 million.
The project was presented on Sunday by a six-member Chinese delegation led by Thomas Wang to City Mayor Wasim Akhtar during a meeting at his office.
Reports say that Thomas Wang, who represented the Chinese company Eco-Bus, offered two buses which would be sent to Karachi as gifts from the company within 2 months.
These two buses would be tried out on the roads of the city. Local staffers, drivers, mechanics and other support staff will be trained to operate these buses.
After the meeting, the Mayor said that if this project is successful, it would solve the problems being faced by the citizens of Karachi to a great extent as public transportation is one of the biggest issues in the city.
He informed that the two buses would arrive here in a few weeks and will be tested in local conditions. The eco-friendly buses would be free of air and noise pollution, he told.
Precious foreign exchange will be saved as fossil fuel would not be used, he added.
500 bus stations will be constructed at different locations in the city where the buses can be charged. These buses have a maximum range of 280 km.
He said that the Chinese company brought forth various proposals: bringing in the investment and offered to operate the buses themselves. The company is willing to work in a joint venture — with the government or the local transport companies — or just sell the buses. After examining the proposal, the most suitable option for the public would be given priority.
He also said that the Chinese company is in talks with the government.
The mayor said that Karachi lacks a fully functional public transportation system. Citizens are forced to travel in buses and mini-buses that are in ramshackle conditions.
He assured the delegation that the civic agency would back them up wherever possible to make sure this eco-friendly project is on the roads as soon as possible.