KARACHI: With more than 700 new motorcycles entering the mainstream traffic every day in the city, the number of bikes in Karachi has risen to over 2.7 million, thus increasing traffic problems in the metropolis which is already battling with worsening public transport system, Dawn reported.
Mass production has resulted in a decrease in the prices of motorbikes which has made them the most preferred vehicle for the middle class, providing them with the convenience they desire. Motorcycle assemblers view Karachi as the biggest market in the province for the locally-manufactured motorbikes. Furthermore, the lack of a stable public transport system in Karachi has largely impacted the middle-class and hence for them, the motorbike is the silver lining.
The number of motorbikes on the roads has increased by almost 230 per cent in the past decade and both the experts and authorities believe that the city seems to be heading towards a traffic chaos.
According to reports, about 339 new motorbikes were being registered in Karachi ten every day, ten years ago. That number has now risen to about 702 new bikes every day.
Karachi lacks public transport, a well-devised traffic management system and road infrastructure. Apart from that, the absence of road sense in motorcyclists is further contributing to the traffic woes.
Although a positive sign for the industry and a large number of people who are able to own vehicles, it does not inspire those who monitor the city’s infrastructure closely.
An official of Shehri-Citizens for a Better Environment, Amber Alibhai is reported to have stated that despite being a dangerous ride, motorbikes continue to be the preferred mode of transport. She attributes this to the lack of transport choices and no infrastructure development in the city concluding that the surge in motorbikes is not only causing traffic jams; it is also resulting in accidents.