In Pakistan, public transport services in urban areas are suffering from poor quality and undue regulation. In order to alleviate the situation in Faisalabad, government officials founded a welfare organization which has assumed responsibility of public transport regulation. It is registered with the Social Welfare Department as the Faisalabad Urban Transport Society (FUTS), which organizes stage carriage services with the active participation of private minibus operators. This paper describes a unique experience of public transport operation under the new form of regulation and control. It provides an account of the organizational structure, objectives and operational characteristics of the society, and various aspects of planning and regulation are evaluated, with their impact on the performance and quality of services offered by the FUTS. It is concluded that the PUTS services are a measurable success, providing substantial improvements and commanding wide acceptance both by passengers and by the private operators participating in the scheme. The key factors involved in this success are realistic fares, the involvement of private operators in decision making, freedom from the constraint of government bureaucracy, and strict enforcement of service standards. Further investigation is needed into the sustainability and replicability of this regulatory model.
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|Published - Apr 1997