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Lahore
Thursday, July 7, 2022
EditorialCommuting that puts holes in pocket

Commuting that puts holes in pocket

The deadly hike in fuel prices has resulted in people moving towards the use of public transport. Unlike many other countries Pakistan does not have the culture of using public transport for travel within the city nor does proper infrastructure exist. According to travel companies, the current fuel hike has also caused people to opt for travelling on bus services rather than using their own cars for intercity travel. While those who used to travel through bus services to their hometowns every weekend have now reduced their visits to once a month or fortnightly due to a hike in prices of tickets. The greater issue however, remains traveling within the city. Cities like Lahore and Rawalpindi have the metro train service and orange line. These commuting services are a low cost solution to the problem of rising fuel prices in the country. People can easily travel within the city on minimal charges. The problem with these, however, is that they do not cater to the whole city. Both services are limited to a certain path and only people living around those areas can use the service. It is true that people from those areas need these more. However, the city has expanded to a large extent and the need for public transport exists everywhere.

Moreover, the previous government was working on a plan which would change the flat rate of travel to a distance based fee. The current government is moving towards implementing this proposition. The new policy will benefit some while those who have to travel long distances on public transport will suffer as they will have to pay more. With accelerating inflation and incrementally increasing prices of commodities it will be difficult for people to afford expensive travel. However, it will still cost less than that if they choose to travel on private transport as the fuel prices are soaring. The policy is a necessary measure as even the government cannot afford much in this economy with the rising fuel and electricity costs. Therefore the burden will have to be shared by the government and the consumers.

What all of this points towards is that public transport infrastructure is crucial for Pakistan. However, the problem is not only their is poor infrastructure but also that there isn’t a culture of travelling via public transport in the country. Only those who cannot afford any sort of private transport choose to travel in buses and trams, all others travel on their cars and bikes. It is imperative for people in the country to choose public transport as not only is it pocket friendly but also better for the environment.

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