Our recent posting about Ipoh public transport has garnered some attention.
TRANSIT believes that the issues in Ipoh are a reflection of the governance issues that are behind public transport in this country.
We note that existing proposals and changes to public transport service (such as new terminals, proposed terminals etc.) have not changed the nature of the industry which is still very much privately controlled and managed without government involvement, interest, or attention.
For this reason, a proposal for a RapidIpoh is not really the solution for Ipoh’s public transport woes, any more than it is the solution for problems in KL, Penang, Johor or Terengganu.
What is needed is real open and effective public consultation and planning that involves all four stakeholder groups (the operators, users, government agencies and wakil rakyat).
Ipoh already has a consortium of bus operators, known as Combined Bus Services, that is working on consolidating bus services within the Kinta Valley. However, without the attention and the involvement of the government, the public and the wakil rakyat, this consortium could easily start to monopolize public transportation in the Kinta Valley.
Zul from TRANSIT observed during his participation that the Ipoh City Watch forum in November 2008 that few government agencies or wakil rakyat were interested in public transport. As we saw from the events in February to May 2009 (and still continuing to this date) it is clear that they have other priorities.