Pakistan — Transportation
Pakistan Taxis and Car Rental
There are a few taxis companies which operate in many of Pakistan’s larger cities, especially for traveling from airports to city centers. 24-hour taxi firms are reasonably priced and are quite an efficient mode of transport. Travelers should remember, however, that many companies may not operate after sunset during the holy month of Ramadan. Travelers also have the option of taking an auto rickshaw, which is convenient for transport within cities. Rickshaws are cheap but prices should be negotiated prior to embarking on any journey.
Car rental agencies are represented in the larger centers including Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi. If all else fails, the nearest airport is bound to have an agency or two. Many of the larger hotels are also able to organize vehicles for their guests. Both inside and outside of cities, however, traveler will find that the roads are quite hazardous. The quality of both the roads and the drivers is questionable.
Pakistan Trains and Buses
The national railway company is Pakistan Railway, which operates a comprehensive network across the country. The main line runs from Karachi to Lahore (20 hours), Rawalpindi (28 hours) and Peshawar (32 hours). Passengers also have the option to choose daytime or overnight journeys. Travelers have their choice of first and second class, but even first-class carriages can become quite hot. The better option during the peak summer season is the air-conditioned coaches. Tickets can be purchased at all local bus stations, with children under the age of three travelling for free and those under the age of 11 paying half price.
The most popular intercity bus travel company is Sammi Daewoo Express which runs regular services between many of the larger cities, including the route between Karachi and Lahore. The rates for these journeys are quite reasonable – often cheaper than trains – but the journeys can take several days. There are several other bus and minibus companies which are cheaper Sammi Daewoo, but these are definitely the most efficient and comfortable, offering air-conditioning in their vehicles. There is no need to book ahead with most bus companies as buses leave local stations almost every hour.