Improving accessibility to employment, education, health, and other urban services is necessary for improving the welfare of the urban poor and low-income households. Although the rate of motorization is increasing in developing countries, the bulk of the urban poor in the developing world do not have the means to afford private motorized transport. The urban poor rely on public transit for trips that require motorized transport. Thus, public transit plays a critical role in sustaining and improving the welfare of urban poor by providing mobility to millions. The past few decades have witnessed a continuous disinvestment in public transit by governments in Pakistan who have cut public services in an attempt to balance their books. When the government funded mass transit disappeared from the streets, the private sector stepped in to provide transit service, which left much to be desired in terms of efficient provision of quality service and safety. (Haider and Badami, 2006)
Recently, the provincial governments in Pakistan have embarked on bus-franchising schemes, which have offered exclusive service rights to operators on dedicated routes as per the requirement of public. The transport operators, in return, guarantee a certain level of service to meet the expectation of public taking into account the health and safety aspects. In Punjab, for example, bus-franchising scheme has delivered hundreds of new buses now plying on intra-urban routes all across the province.
Using a literature review approach, the paper focuses on the on road public transportation system of Pakistan. The study area comprises the province of Punjab. The paper documents the opportunities and constraints considering different aspects e.g., privatization and franchising of public transportation.