The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Pakistan have signed a $235 million loan agreement initially approved by the bank on 5 July 2019, to help develop a bus rapid transit (BRT) system in Karachi.
Secretary Economic Affairs Division Noor Ahmed and ADB Country Director Xiaohong Yang signed the agreement which will help deliver the 26.6-kilometer Bus Rapid Transit Line Red Line corridor and feature innovative energy and climate resilience characteristics that will enhance access to quality public transport for the city’s inhabitants. The signing was witnessed by Pakistan’s Minister for Economic Affairs, Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar.
“The loan signed today will enable a safe, reliable, and environmentally friendly mode of transport in Pakistan’s most populous city,” said Ms. Yang.
On behalf of ADB, I am pleased to sign this agreement and would like to thank the Government of Sindh for the strong collaboration and continued support in recent years during the preparation of this complex project. The BRT will make a significant difference to the commuting experience in Karachi, ease congestion, and improve the overall quality of life for people in the city.
The project, developed in partnership with the Transport and Mass-Transit Department of the Sindh Government, is now set for fast-track implementation with the start of procurement activities for civil works and the on-going recruitment of the Project Management and Construction Supervision team.
It will restructure the entire width of the Red Line BRT corridor, including the construction of 29 stations and dedicated lanes along the 26.6 km stretch; improvement of the mixed-traffic roadway with up to six lanes in each direction; inclusion of on-street parking and landscaped green areas in various locations; improvement of the drainage system to climate-proof the corridor; and installation of bicycle lanes, improved sidewalks, and energy-efficient street lights.
In addition, ADB will also administer a $100 million loan from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a $100 million loan from Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD), a $37.2 million loan and a $49 million grant from the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which will finance climate change adaptation and mitigation measures, such as the incremental cost of the transition from basic diesel bus technology to compressed natural gas (CNG) hybrid bus technology, and the construction of a biogas plant to produce CNG from cattle waste.
The project, which is expected to save 240,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year, is the first transport-related initiative ever approved by GCF.