Overloading of buses continues in twin cities


Passenger buses plying on various routes of the twin cities are often seen overloaded thereby risking the lives of commuters, particularly students who can be seen travelling upon the roofs or hanging outside the buses. This practise could result in fatal accidents yet the responsible authorities are doing very little to provide better transport facilities to the students.
The overloading of buses is almost the routine on most city roads due to poor transportation arrangements for the students. Be it Murree Road, IJ Principal Road, 9th Avenue, Kashmir Highway or Islamabad Highway, passengers, especially students, are seen standing on the buses and at times virtually hanging outside while their routes pose the additional problem of frequent stops.
These students and the common man seem fed up with the overloading and frequent stops by the public transport buses.
“The government should provide transportation facilities to students and had taken some steps to address the problem some time back, but left the issue halfway,” said a student of Bahria University waiting at a bus stop. “Many students, especially female students, prefer to walk on foot rather than board a passenger bus on this route because of overloading,” said another student.
Various university students complained that they never got a seat in the mornings and early noon because the buses were already overloaded and they were compelled to travel upon the roof or hang outside.
They blamed the authorities for allowing bus drivers to stop frequently. “They allow the bus drivers to stop at too many places which resulted in overloading,” said a student. They said travelling on Islamabad Highway, Murree Road and IJP Road was cumbersome even though these were some of the most vital roads of the twin cities.
Referring to the traffic police a passenger argued, “They often bang on the buses to give an impression to the public that they do not allow the bus drivers to stop at non-designated stops. If they were really serious about the issue then how come the drivers succeed in overloading their buses?”
They complained that the buses remained overloaded and that they often had to reach the destination by hanging on the bus’ exterior. “Even though men manage the risky ride, it is difficult for women to get into an overloaded bus,” complained a government employee.
He, however, accused the people of resorting to overloading. “The fault lies within the community members. It has become the habit of people to indulge in this overloading nuisance,” he added.
A bus driver said they overloaded because of high fuel prices and they would not otherwise be able to bear their daily expenses. He said the traffic police often fined them for overloading but they could not refrain from overloading because without it they earned very little income which was insufficient to make ends meet.