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   Background  
 


Urban transport activity is a key component of economic development and human welfare and is increasing around the world as economies grow. The most pressing problems associated with this increasing transport activity are traffic fatalities and injuries, congestion, air pollution and associated ecological, economic and social impacts. The transport sector plays a crucial and growing role in world energy use and emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), that are known for causing climate change.

In Pakistan, the transport sector contributes to the national carbon emissions, and is responsible for more than half of the oil consumed in Pakistan. As the population and economy have grown, the size and number of vehicles too have increased from 2.7 million in 1990 to 5.5 million in 2005 (an increase of over 100%), and increased to 9.8 million by 2010.

 
     
   Transport System in Pakistan  
 


Road transport is the backbone of Pakistan's transport system. The 9,574 km long National Highway and Motorway network, which is 3.65 percent of the total road network, carries 80 percent of Pakistan's total traffic. Over the past ten years, road traffic, both passenger and freight, has grown faster than the national economy. Currently it accounts for 91 percent of the national passenger traffic and 96 percent of freight.

The absence of a public transportation system (particularly in urban centers) has led to increased transport problems. An extraordinarily expanded transport network (mainly with focus only on infrastructure development) and increasing population density is exacerbating the problem.

Excessive reliance upon road transport is also causing increased congestion, degradation of air quality with dramatic increase in GHG emissions. The associated ecological, social, economic and health related impacts are also increasing significantly.

 
     
   Need for Sustainable Urban Transport (SUT)  
 


Based upon the above analysis and the significance of GHG emissions from the urban transport sector combined with its expected growth, it is imperative that such interventions are designed that offer an opportunity to promote sustainable modes of transport. Besides mitigating climate change, the role of Sustainable Urban Transport (SUT) is vital for improved living conditions, particularly for urban dwellers in Pakistan.

It is estimated that Pakistan has potential of saving at least 20 percent of the energy used in transport sector. Also, increased usage of public transport has been identified as a policy option for Pakistan to reduce GHG emission from this sector by orienting towards public transport. Promotion of sustainable means of transport is considered extremely important for future sustainable development in the country and which carries other considerable benefits such as: reduced congestion, pollution, consumption of fossil fuels and health problems, besides mitigation climate change.

 


 
   
   
 
   
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