Pakistan Sustainable Transport Project - PAKSTRAN


The transport sector is the fastest growing energy user and major producer of greenhouse gas emissions around the world.  Amongst this sector, the road transport leads the polluters list. According to a report from Ward’s Auto, there are more than 1.0 billion cars in the world and about 87 million barrels of oil are produced per day to meet their requirements, putting severe stress on the environment.

The related issues to transportation have led the authorities around the world to develop and promote the sustainability concepts and approaches in transportation systems to minimize the dependence on motor vehicles for commuting and to encourage the use of options of mass transit, which allows citizens to access their needs and destinations without causing undue harm to the environment. 


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.

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.

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.

Project Description

To address the transport and related problems in the country Pakistan Sustainable Transport Project (PAKSTRAN) is designed to adopt holistic planning approaches towards a successful ‘demonstration’ of BRT system. BRT planning includes: physical integration of BRT and feeder routes with the urban transport network; organized parking lots near bus stations & user-friendly transfer points; economic incentive for commercial development near BRT; financial sustainability of integrated BRT system and outreach and involvement through public-private partnerships.

PAKSTRAN is streamlining institutions; strengthening strategic plans and the regulatory policy framework at the provincial level by using BRT project demonstration experiences. It is facilitating: development of sustainable transport policies; and is building capacity within responsible provincial agencies to adopt sustainable transport principles in planning. Moreover, PAKSTRAN is utilizing holistic approaches to demonstrate implementation of the Trucking Policy. (Holistic approaches include innovative financial mechanisms, strengthening/supporting institutions and regulations; creating an enabling environment to reduce fuel consumption in the trucking sector).

Also, PAKSTRAN is raising awareness and knowledge levels on issues related to, and measures to achieve sustainable urban transport and fuel efficiency of commercial vehicles (This includes targeted publicity campaigns and supporting curriculum development in technical and academic institutions).

Project Objectives

The objective of the Project is ‘to reduce the growth of energy consumption and related greenhouse gas emissions from Pakistan’s transport sector, while simultaneously improving urban environmental conditions and improving Pakistan’s competitiveness’.

Expected Outcomes/Outputs:
The expected outcomes of PAKSTRAN are:

  • Outcome 1: Operational urban transport system in Punjab province
  • Outcome 2: Operational urban transport system in Sindh province
  • Outcome 3: Improved energy efficiency in truck freight transport
  • Outcome 4: Increased public awareness and institutional capacity on sustainable transport concepts.

The output of PAKSTRAN is ‘Environment mainstreamed across the development sector plans and programmes’.

PAKSTRAN will guide this through:

  • Demonstrating international best practices planning and  implementation of integrated urban transport systems,
  • Strengthening the institutional and policy framework for urban transportation,
  • Demonstrating international best practices for modernizing the trucking fleet; creating an investment environment with widespread stakeholder acceptance,
  • Raising public awareness and knowledge of issues in sustainable urban transport and fuel-efficient transport in Pakistan.

PAKSTRAN is supported by Global Environment Facility (GEF) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and is being implemented by Government of Pakistan.
The Implementing Partner is:

  • Government of Pakistan, Ministry of Water and Power, through the National Energy Conservation Centre (ENERCON) - The Project Management Unit (PMU)
  • The Responsible Parties are:
  • Government of Punjab, through Urban Unit, Planning & Development Department
  • Government of Sindh, through Transport Cell, Transport Department
  • Planning Commission of Pakistan
  • IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, Pakistan


Ms. Fauzia Malik
Component Manager
Pakistan Sustainable Transport Project (PAKSTRAN)
IUCN Islamabad Program Office
House 2, Street 83, G-6/4, Islamabad.
Tel: +92  51 2831372-80
Fax: +92 51  2831371
Email: fauzia.malik@iucn.org
Website: http://www.pakstran.pk