Chinese automotive manufacturer, Foton Motors Company, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government of south-west Pakistan’s Sindh province for the provision and operation of 2,000 CNG buses. The joint venture will relieve public transport pressures for commuters in Karachi, Hyderabad and broaden services across the province. The Foton buses are designed in the USA and built in China, meeting the cultural and demographic requirements of the country.
The MoU was signed by Foton Pak Bus Company (Pvt.) Limited (FP) Managing Director Joseph Verghese, Foton President Perry T Blackerby, Sindh Board of Investment (BOI) Secretary Muhammad Younus Dagha, Finance Secretary Naveed Kamran Baloch and Karachi Commissioner Muhammad Hussain Syed at a ceremony held at the Chief Minister’s House on Saturday.
Last week members of the delegation met with Pakistan’s President, Asif Ali Zardari, to discuss business opportunities in Pakistan in the field of bus industry.
The President expressed appreciation for the expansion of Foton’s operations in the country, saying that the success of a foreign transport company was testimony of vast potential present in the country in the field of transport. He asked the company to undertake bus operations in other major cities of the country including Rawalpindi, Faisalabad and Multan to help overcome commuters transportation issues and to improve inter and intra city connectivity.
Sialkot, a city in the north-east of the Punjab province, has previously entered into an MoU with Foton, for 200 to 300 CNG and LPG buses.
Lahore Transport Company (LTC) has also entered an agreement for the supply of 111 CNG buses over the next few months. Verghese told NGV Global News that initially they will service 3 routes with 105 buses on the routes and 6 buses as backup buses. The buses are installed with systems and equipment for tracking and telematics for management and monitoring of the buses.
After establishing and getting the Lahore project under control, FP intends to gradually induct and operate buses in Karachi with a proposed Joint Venture with the Government of Sindh Province.
Verghese said that FP’s plans for Pakistan also include:
- A Foton Transport Academy to train drivers and ticket administrators in collaboration with LTC. Discussions are underway to get this project off the ground.
- Selling Foton Buses to other operators with mandatory value added services, including Preventive and Scheduled Maintenance & Vehicle Repairs and Servicing as required from time to time.
- Providing a turnkey BRT system initially for the city of Lahore and subsequently for Karachi.
After establishing and getting the Lahore project under control, FP intends to gradually induct and operate buses in Karachi with a proposed Joint Venture with the Government of the Province of Sindh.