With funding from the international Green Climate Fund, the Pakistani port city of Karachi will launch a zero-emission Green Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network, with 200 buses fueled by biomethane. The new bus system – due to start operating in 2020 – will help reduce air pollution and street noise, reported Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Malik Amin Aslam, advisor on climate change to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, said the BRT system was the first transport project the Green Climate Fund had approved, and would bring “multiple environmental and economic benefits”. It would not require operating subsidies, he added.
The clean bus network will cater for 320,000 passengers daily, and will reduce planet-warming emissions by 2.6 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent over 30 years, according to project documents. The BRT will consist of a 30-km (18.6-mile) corridor that will benefit 1.5 million residents, adding 25 new bus stations, secure pedestrian crossings, improved sidewalks, cycle lanes and bike-sharing facilities.
The Green Climate Fund, set up under U.N. climate talks to provide finance to developing countries to help them grow cleanly and adapt to a warming climate, will provide $49 million for the Karachi project out of a total cost of $583.5 million. The other major funders are the Asian Development Bank and the provincial government of Sindh, where Karachi is located.
The BRT system, to be rolled out over four years, will have a fleet of 200 buses that will run on biomethane produced from manure excreted by Karachi’s 400,000 milk-producing water buffaloes, and collected by the authorities. The project will prevent about 3,200 tons of cow manure entering the ocean daily by converting it into energy and fertilizer at a biogas plant, and will save more than 50,000 gallons of fresh water now used to wash that waste into the bay, Aslam said.