Khalida Niaz

PESHAWAR: After a long wait, Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project was finally inaugurated on August 13, 2020.

I was waiting all along for travelling in the BRT bus as traffic problems in Peshawar had troubled me a lot. I asked a friend to accompany me for the travel, but stories from other friends discouraged us from the same. Friends told us about a large number of people travelling in the buses, and many of them were travelling just to enjoy the ride of the new service, and finding place in the bus was a Herculean task.

Finally, on September 10, we got a chance of travelling through the BRT by entering a station in University Town. We initially entered the wrong block leading to Hayatabad as we did not know how to proceed, and then someone guided us to go to right block which led to Saddar Bazaar. A large number of people were already waiting for the arrival of the bus. The atmosphere was clean and there were also some chairs and fans and directions for the passengers through electronic tickers. After wait of 10 minutes, a bus arrived, but we couldn’t embark as it was full of passengers. We missed four buses for the same reason and then entered the fifth bus, but it was already too late. There were only 10 seats for women passengers, while I counted 23 others who were standing with the help of stands.

It was first time I was travelling on a bus on an empty road although the bus was too full with passengers. There was no disturbance all along the route and we reached from one station to other by talking to each other. The facilities of air conditioner and WiFi made the travelling even more entertaining.

I had travelled from University Town to Saddar in a rickshaw earlier which consumed more than an hour, but the BRT travel consumed just 10 minutes and 10 rupees, and that too in a peaceful and safe environment. I noticed just one problem, and that was less seats for women passengers.

The KP government after repeated incidents of fire eruption in BRT buses has suspended the service till removing the fault from buses. The service is closed for the last seven days, but I am still remembering my first fascinating travel in it. I am hopeful that my first journey in the BRT will not be the last one and buses will be seen plying the BRT route soon.