Transport affects a country’s growth. A well-constructed transport infrastructure supports economic and social development. However, Pakistan, especially the province of Sindh, has been deprived of such a well-organized, integrated transport system for years.Today the system is in a deplorable state and one of the most serious problems facing the booming population of Sindh. Many cannot afford options like taxis and rickshaws due to high fares and so rely on buses. A study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency between 2005 and 2006 found buses transport 42 percent of all people yet only represent 4.5 percent of all vehicles. Recently, there has been a lot of news about the construction and planning of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in Sindh. The BRT, a high-quality bus-based mass transit system in which buses travel on dedicated routes, is a system already widely used around the world. For the province of Sindh this mode of transport will be a first of its kind and as it is being constructed around the existing infrastructure of the city, the project will definitely face its challenges. However, in the long run the benefits of the BRT will outweigh the issues it currently faces.Some of the foreseeable advantages of the BRT is that it will allow commuters to travel more quickly comfortably, and importantly reliably, along each line, as the buses will run on their dedicated lanes, similar to the systems in Lahore and Islamabad and that under construction in Peshawar. This will not only help commuters save time, allowing them to reach their homes or work places on time, but it will also help battle pollution in the city. The BRT will also facilitate older and disabled people. The buses we have today are a nightmare for these individuals, the inaccessibility and lack of convenience forcing them stay home. The BRT will have accessibility integrated at its heart, with features that may include station platforms aligned to the height of the footpad in the bus. We are consulting now with key communities of people to make sure we understand accommodate their needs.The BRT will also take into consideration the issues faced by women travellers who are assigned the fewest seats, which are sometimes taken up by men. We are taking the time to integrate women’s needs into the design, making sure they are more comfortable and safe during their commute. Once fully operational, the BRT will have six lines, providing an integrated public transport system across Karachi. We expect the whole BRT infrastructure to transport 3,085,000 people a day.Its impact will be significant, helping to transform the lives of people in our city, ultimately enhancing Karachi’s live ability. But it will take time for our integrated transport solution — comprising the six BRT lines, the Karachi Circular Railway and the Mass Rapid Transit Brown Line — to reach the same ridership levels as mass transit systems in, for example, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Moscow and Singapore. In the case of London, the Underground was built in the late 19thCentury. For more than a century the mass transit lines and city itself have symbiotically grown together, each shaping the other. This is why the mass transit systems of these cities has such a high level of use. In cities where mass transit has only recently been introduced, their share of the travelling public is far lower; their urban development and lifestyles have not yet become closely bound with the transit system. The BRT, a high-quality bus-based mass transit system in which buses travel on dedicated routes, is a system already widely used around the world. For the province of Sindh this mode of transport will be a first of its kind and as it is being constructed around the existing infrastructure of the cityIt’s also important to note mass transit lines carry only a fraction of the total movement in a city. They carry large numbers of people on very busy routes. Far more people, however, travel by other means, in different directions. This movement is diffuse but because it happens all over the metropolitan area, it accounts for a vast amount of movement. Mass transit cannot cater for these movements, not in Tokyo, not in London, not in New York and not even in Karachi.The BRT is an incredibly important step forward in solving our transport problems in Karachi. Once fully operational, it will transform the experience of travelling along Karachi’s main trunk routes. Passengers will be able to bypass congestion and enjoy safe, reliable and accessible mass transport. It’s integral to Karachi becoming a world class city, attracting inward investment, reducing poverty, cutting pollution and offering a positive environment in which to live, now and in the future. As it beds into the fabric of our city, the BRT and the city itself will evolve symbiotically, the daily ridership increasing in the coming years as a result. If the 31.6 million people who will be living in Karachi by 2030 (according to the 2012 Study for Karachi Transportation Improvement Project produced by Japan International Cooperation Agency) are not to still be travelling on the broken down, dangerous buses that run rampant on the roads, we need to support the development of the BRT.The writer is a correspondent, Daily Times and tweets at @maferoziPublished in Daily Times, October 26th 2018.