There has been much noise about the Metro Bus Service that Shahbaz Sharif introduced in Lahore while he was the chief minister. A similar service is being envisaged for other cities of the Punjab. However, provision of transport facilities in the broader sense covering all parts of Pakistan and comprising other means as well, have not been taken up by any government in right earnest. The new Railways minister, Khawaja Saad Rafiq, promises to bring about visible improvements in the system in the next years and the government is looking for a new managing director to reorganize PIA.
The government is already confronted with other issues such as setting the economy right, bringing about good governance and tackling the energy monster that has gone out of control. No responsible government functionary has so far focused on thinking on the lines of introducing an integrated transport policy that would address the issues of the masses, with special reference to the problems they face in the urban centers, both large and small, as well as inter-city travel. There are efforts in isolation, such as reviving the Karachi Circular Railway but even those are taking ages to come to fruition. With the country’s population bursting at the seams, it has already become imperative that better and more workable programs must be devised to meet mass transport needs. Merely letting ’transport mafias’ handle the demand in their own fashion and to their entire advantage will not work for much long.