1          INTRODUCTION:

According to the 1998 census it had a population of just over two million, now estimated to be around 2.8 million (P&D Urban Unit). By 2033, the population is expected to rise to 4.4 million. Rapid population growth has been significantly impacted by Afghan refugee migration and internal displacement, resulting in approximately 280,000 Afghan refugees and a further 100,000 displaced persons currently living in Peshawar2. As many of these have limited resources and opportunities, the pressure to maintain infrastructure development and service provision in accordance with the demand for housing, transport and basic urban services is therefore considerable.

The Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) is aware of the social, environmental and economic costs of growing car use in urban areas. Mainly poor people in Peshawar are affected due to no travel choice but to use the existing public transport like buses, vans and rickshaws. This private public transport is not easily accessible, reliable and has no safety. There are no segregated lanes for buses except a few vaguely defined bays located very close to the intersections that creates safety and operational issues at the intersections.


Roads play a critical role in meeting the transport needs of Peshawar City and are one of the pillars of the economy. However, urban areas that are dominated by road infrastructure to accommodate high car usage generally suffer from poor amenity levels and congestion. Allowing high dependency on private cars and rickshaws for travel often reduces accessibility and significantly impacts on the environment.

Figure 1: Peshawar Road Hierarchy


Poor existing traffic conditions: The declining traffic conditions on key arterials is reaching a stage where the situation is becoming unmanageable for the limited resources available. Traffic police have commented during consultation (Pre-feasibility Study) with the team that they are “fed up” with the growing traffic and the growing impatience of drivers at intersections and U-turn sites.

Poor service provision: In addition, existing public transport passengers are highly critical of current conditions of the existing arrangements.

Fleet Condition: The current fleet, although required by Law to have a maximum age limit of 10 years, is dominated with vehicles from the 1980s and 1990’s. There is no effective Government oversight on fleet quality or supply against demand and the public must suffer as a result. There has not been a noticeable investment in the public transport sector for a number of decades and even the General Bus Stand is at an advanced state of decay. In contrast, the recent flyover in GT Road, the (under construction) flyover from Charsadda Road and the proposed (approximately USD$9 million) flyover at Hayatabad reflects the priority for private road transport over the needs of public passenger transport. The time for investment in this sector is long overdue.

Market demand: There is substantial demand for public passenger transport with Pre-feasibility Study screen-line surveys indicating mode shares of 60% and above at varying times of the day. Such a market is in itself justification for a more equal share of public expenditure on public transit infrastructure. It is important to retain this market so that the traffic conditions do not worsen as passengers leave their services and use private vehicles in the future.

Based on classified vehicle counts and vehicle occupancy surveys taken in a number of corridors during the PFS, the daily public transport market share ranges from a high of 87% in Warsak Road (Corridor 3), 77% in GT Road near the General Bus Stand (Corridor 2), 76% in Bara Road (southern section of Corridor 4) and 64% in AJK Afridi Road (southern section of Corridor 3). These public transport market share levels are high by world standards and reflect the current levels of poverty in and around Peshawar.

Of all the corridors surveyed, Corridor 2 has the greatest daily demand for public transport. It has daily public transport passenger flows peaking at nearly 393,700 near the General Bus Stand in GT Road. Here, the daily market share being carried by public transport vehicles was 77% and the peak hour passenger demand per direction was nearly 20,750. With this market share being carried by less than 43% of the total traffic, it underscores the important role public transport currently plays in both servicing the substantial demand as well as reducing traffic flows on the city road network. Table 1


Table 1: Daily Passenger Demand by Corridor and Private/Public Vehicle Category



All the bus terminals in Peshawar are managed by the Local Govt Department except Peshawar Bus Terminal, which is operated by the Transport Department.

The number of vehicles departing from the Peshawar Bust Terminal within Peshawar and to other cities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are listed in Table 2 and Table 3.

Table 2: Route Permits for Peshawar Urban Areas

                            ROUTE PERMIT FOR PESHAWAR URBAN AREA
S.No URBAN AREA ROUTE Total No. of Permits
  1) General Bus Stand GT Road-Hayat Abad 290
  2) General Bus Stand Kohat Road-Jamrud-Bara Via Polytechnic College-Saddar Stadium 495
  3) General Bus Stand- Jamrud-Bara 361
  TOTAL 1146
  1) Peshawar-Molagori-Warsak-Sper Sung-Lowrara Mina 280
  2) Peshawar General Bus Stand-Nasir Bagh 26
  3) General Bus Stand- Bara Fort Stop 220
  TOTAL 526
  1) General Bus Stand GT Road-University via Gulbar– Technical College-Civil Quarters-Saddar Stadium (Route No 1) 41
  2) General Bus Stand GT Road-University via Khyber Bazaar Saddar Stadium (Route No 2) 271
  3) General Bus Stand Charsadda Road University via Bacha Chowk Session Court Saddar Stadium (Route No 3) 53
  4)Peshawar-Jamrud-Bara 279
  TOTAL 644
  1) 02-Stroke Rickshaws 8243
  2)04-Stroke CNG fitted Rickshaws 8558
  TOTAL 16801


Table 3: Regional Route Permits for Peshawar

  1. No
CATEGORY Total No. of Permits
  1) Buses 526
  2) Mini Buses 1146
  3) Flying Coaches 4069
  1) Trucks/Oil Tanker/Delivery Van (Load Vehicle) 9623
  1) Suzuki/Datsun Etc 4432
  2) Station Wagons (Passenger Vehicles) 644
  3) Yellow Cab Taxi Cars 3065
  1) Mini Truck/Datsun/Suziki Pickup/Load Vehcile 3508
  TOTAL 27013



The existing traffic and transportation issues are listed in the datasheet below:

Issues/Problems Relevant Images
The current lack of a public transport system means mobility in Peshawar is a major challenge. Increasing population results in increasing travel demands
The demand for public transport is met by transporters who operate inefficient buses and vans. Since these ventures are only marginally profitable, the vehicles are ill maintained and provide low quality service.
Most emit smoke and are known to carry contraband items.
BUS TERMINALs IN DEPLORABLE CONDITIONThe existing Bus Terminals are old-fashioned and some even lack basic public facilities. There is no proper system by which information can be obtained about arrival and departure of buses.Majority of these buses are privately owned their maintenance is non-existent. The management, operations and maintenance of the Bus terminals are far below standards.  2
HIGH PASSENGER DEMANDDue to the lack of public transport services the existing buses do not have the capacity to cope with the passenger demand, consequently the buses are overcrowded and unsafe not only for the commuter traveling on the bus but for the pedestrians who often travel alongside the service roads. The situation gets even worse during the school times. Lots of the children coming out of school which happens to be near the service roads where those buses often travel at high speeds.  3
SLOW MOVING VEHICLES PUSHED TO SERVICE ROADSThe public transport buses are operating on service roads. The bus service is not frequent and unreliable. Higher levels of congestion are initially associated with faster economic growth. But, above a certain threshold, congestion starts to become a drag on growth.Excessive traffic makes people late to work. It stresses us out before we even get there. Deliveries can’t arrive on time. All that petrol costs money!  4
NO GENDER SENSITIVITY There number of dedicates seats for females are very few compared to the male allocated. Not to mention the behaviour of the conductors and drivers towards the females. Complaints of inappropriate approaches are frequent. The main culprit is the lack of education and the professionalism of the bus crew.   5
ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNSPeshawar is one of the polluted cities in South Asia. Vehicular emissions contain oxides and lead particles which are hazardous to human health, moreover, the emissions have harmful effects on flora and fauna. Chemicals in vehicle exhaust are harmful to asthmatics. Exhaust can adversely affect lung function and may promote allergic reactions.  6
INADEQUATE PARKING FACILITIESThere are no properly designed car parks/plazas in Peshawar city. The parking spaces provided in commercial plazas are inadequate. In sadar area, there are two parking lots. One is slightly large and open air while the other a basement in a building relatively smaller in size but offer protection from sun and rain as well as theft.  
LACK OF PEDESTRIAN INFRASTRUCTUREPeshawar city lacks the basic pedestrian infrastructure e.g. footpaths, walkways and crossing facilities etc. The lack of such facilities seriously restrict the accessibility and mobility of thousands.Lack of pedestrian facilities such as footpaths, zebra crossings, passenger shelters, under-passes and lighting arrangements are major factors for pedestrian accidents. The situation calls for immediate improvement in the road infrastructure and initiation of traffic safety education campaigns for the safety of pedestrians.   8
ROAD SAFETY AND DRIVERS’ EDUCATIONDue to the lack of drivers’ education and lack of public awareness of the traffic rules and regulations, many traffic collisions occur resulting in collateral damage. Children and young people are at significant risk on our roads. Road trauma is the leading cause of death and the second most frequent cause of hospitalisation among children in Peshawar. Road safety education plays an important role in shaping the attitudes and behaviours of children and young people – ensuring they become responsible drivers, passengers and pedestrians.  9
MIX TRAFFIC The mix of pedestrians, 2 Wheelers, 3 Wheelers, animal driven carts and vehicular traffic results in unmanageable congestion. The traffic congestion is getting worse by the day due lack of modern technology for management of traffic. Further, the poor enforcement has led to aggressive drivers’ behavior.  10
SUBSTANDARD ROAD DRAINAGE FACILITESDue to substandard road drainage facilities, in rainy seasons e.g monsoon, the roads in Peshawar are flooded which causes inconvenience to the motorists and other road users. The current condition of the sanitation system in Peshawar city has shown significant deterioration over time due to aging infrastructure, design deficiencies, lack of proper machinery and equipment and lack of maintenance.  11
LACK OF TRAFFIC SIGNAGEMajority of the traffic signage in Peshawar are low quality and often incorrect and mislead the road users. Road signs are designed to make sure that every driver is kept safe and informed. Proper education of traffic rules and installation of signage on key intersection and roundabouts are required to facilitate driver’s safety.  12
ENCROACHMENT OF PUBLIC RIGHT OF WAYThere are many locations on major roads in Peshawar where the public carriageway has been encroached. This has constrained the road width and hinder free movement of pedestrian and vehicular traffic.  13
ROAD CLOSURES AND SECUIRTY CHECK POINTSThe ongoing security situation has led to the closure of roads, placement of barricades and installation of security check posts at strategic points in Peshawar city. All these are seriously disrupting the fabric of road network in Peshawar. This also creates traffic congestion especially in peak hours which leads to traffic jams subsequently leading to waste of fuel and time.  14



There are number of schemes identified by the Urban Policy Unit (UPU), P&DD and the Transport Department to help resolve the traffic and urban transportation issues in Peshawar.

The major schemes are listed below:

  • Traffic Management Plan (UPU)
  • Peshawar Mass Transit System (UPU)
  • Private Transporters Fleet Refurbishment (Transport Department)
  • Pedestrian Precincts and Parking Plazas (UPU)


The study is undertaken in particular context of Peshawar city and will focus only on the roads that actually connect the city, intersection and midblocks in the city, and affect the city performance and productivity.

This study will take in mind all the associated factors which actually contribute towards traffic problems or affect the smooth flow of traffic in any way. This may encompass various technical and social factors, urban trends, prevailing traffic management techniques, available infrastructure arrangements and other sundry factors.

The key objectives of the study are:

  • Conduct macro analysis of the traffic problems of these cities and identify reasons that cause traffic congestions at city various major inlets, junctions and nodes and at any other locations necessary to address traffic problems.
  • Evaluate the existing traffic handling arrangements being practiced in the city and propose various options, modifications, infrastructure requirement which may provide short term solutions, leading towards smooth traffic flow in the city.
  • Develop transport plans for these cities that may ultimately address the underlying traffic problems; and suggest prioritized projects. These plans shall provide direction to the KPK government for adopting systematic approach in the implementation of transport infrastructure, to develop an adequate, modern and innovative transportation system that accommodates and provides for the current and future needs and the demands of these cities.


The Asian Development Bank was approached by the Urban Policy Unit and the Transport Department Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, with the request to provide Technical Assistance and grant for conducting feasibility of both options. The grant request was sent to the Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA), which provides Grants for such ventures, and is a trust fund under Asian Development Bank. The CDIA / Asian Development Bank approved request of the UPU for the Pre-feasibility on Mass Transit System in Peshawar on the 4th of November, 2012, and committed to provide $372,000 for the pre-feasibility, with our contribution in kind equalling $74,525. The Pre-feasibility team was mobilised in October 2013. The Pre-feasibility was completed in April 2014.

The findings of the Pre-feasibility Study were presented in a meeting on 24th of March, 2014, under the chairmanship of Chief Minister, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The meeting was attended by Senior Ministers, Ministers, Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary, Secretaries of concerned line departments and other members of the Steering Committee of Mass Transit Peshawar. Decisions requested from the forum were on CORRIDOR (Decision 1) and which MODE (Decision 2) we want to employ (Rail or Bus). The forum was informed that after these decisions can the UPU and Transport Department proceed ahead with the Feasibility and Design of Mass Transit System. The other important factor for consideration was the funding of the Feasibility Study of Mass Transit Peshawar (US $7 million), and also the funding of the MTS Peshawar project itself. The decision required was that whether the Government wants to utilize its own resources or to go for a loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). (Decision 3). The benefit of getting Asian Development Bank (ADB) to fund the feasibility is that Asian Development Bank may provide loan for the project later.

The CDIA team had identified corridors based on physical attributes and traffic load analysis, which are as under:

Corridor 1                      : Rail corridor from Chamkani to Hayatabad

Corridor 2A                   : Chamkani to Karkhano via GT Road, Khyber Road and Jamrud Road

Corridor 2B                   : Chamkani to Karkhano via GT Road, Sunehri Masjid Road, Sir   Syed Ahmed Road & Jamrud Road

Corridor 3                      : Warsak Road to Kohat Terminal via Sadar, AK Afridi Road and Kohat Road.

Corridor 4                      : Charsadda Road to Bara Road Terminus near Ring Road, via Saddar.

Corridor 5                      : Inner City Circular Road & Ring Road

Advanced preparatory works for the Feasibility Study are initiated.


Currently the public transport buses operating in Peshawar city are very old (year of manufacture was 1965-1986) and in very poor operating conditions. However Mazda (mini) buses are relatively in better conditions but the factor of comfort to passengers or cleanliness is still far below the standards. The other vehicles i.e. wagons, Suzuki pickups and Datsun etc. are also in pretty bad shape. Nonetheless, 3 wheelers particularly 4 stroke Auto rickshaws are relatively new.

The Transport Department has recently made laudable efforts in taking the very old public service vehicles off the road and introducing new and enhanced public transport services.

The transporters in consultation with the Transport Department have finally agreed to replace old vehicles in a phased manner.

  • 262 number of old model commercial vehicles have been off routed
  • After inviting EOI, 55 new AC Vans for the local commuters recently introduced
  • Old model PSVs being refurbished
  • Dedicated 5 buses for females
  • Introduction of Alternate Route – Ring Road


The mix of pedestrians and vehicular traffic with inadequate car parking facilities that results in unmanageable congestion, and problems for both vehicles and pedestrians. The car ownership is low, however, majority of the infrastructures is designed for vehicular movement, with no or substandard pedestrians facility provided. The lack of efficient networking is resulting into unmatched commercial and residential activities with high population density with today’s concept of modern living in the context of land management. The cost of fuel is rising, and a major shift in policy is required to conserve fuel through the introduction of mass transit facility and promotion of pedestrian and cycle provisions. These are the sustainable solutions that will ultimately improve the environment and enhance the quality of life in Peshawar. Walking and cycling should be promoted to improve the general well-being of the mobs and reduce the dependence on private cars for short trips.

The major objectives of the study are:

  • To review and analyze the available pedestrian facilities within the city
  • To identify Pedestrian mobility and accessibility hazardous locations in the city where modal conflicts results in accidents
  • To identify hot spots in the city where pedestrian facilities are of utmost important and necessity
  • To propose and develop efficient pedestrian infrastructure for the people in the city.