Kuching to get RM200 million transport hubs

TRANSIT takes note of this article commenting on plans to decentralize public transport in Kuching with a number of transport hubs.

Kuching to get RM200 million transport hubs (NST)

2010/04/14
By Desmond Davidson

KUCHING: The transport network here will be decentralised through a series of “suburb hubs” to be built in key residential areas.

Housing and Urban Development Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said it would cost the state government RM200 million in the next five years to improve the woeful transport system here.

An allocation for the project has been set aside under the 10th Malaysia Plan.

Abang Johari, who had travelled extensively, said areas that had been identified for such hubs were the MJC in the north-eastern suburb of Kuching, Matang in the western suburb, Muara Tebas in the east, and Jalan Song in the north.

The central hub of the network, to be known as Kuching Central, will be sited on an area near the Kuching International Airport.

He added that these hubs would have an “efficient service” to connect them to the city centre.

Giving the Matang hub as an example, he pointed out that the hub there would service a network covering the coastal areas from Damai in Santubong to Telaga Air, Matang.

He said the sub-hub in Telaga Air would have a network of its own to cover the area right up to Rambungan, while the Rambungan hub would have a network that covered all areas in the southern end of the state, including the resort towns of Lundu and Sematan.

“When I was given the Urban Development portfolio in December, it was obvious the city’s transport system was poor,” he said after opening Universiti Malaysia Sarawak’s (Unimas) three-day engineering conference, “Encon 2010” here.

He said improving the transport system was now his focus and priority.

A developed transport system could spur the growth of new industries, especially the service-related industries, he added.

“With a good transport system, tourists can travel from one spot to another much faster, more conveniently and far cheaper.”

He said Kuching would serve as the test bed for any transport system that would be introduced in other major towns like Sibu, Miri and Bintulu.

“If the model put into place here is successful, then the same model will be used to improve the system in other major towns.”

TRANSIT Says:

We appreciate the efforts & dedication of Abang Jo towards improving the public transport system around Kuching and other parts of Sarawak in the future.

We want the system to be simple and informative and easy to access – which is why we support having a Local Public Transport Council that is responsible for planning, organizing and managing public transport services and communicating information about public transport to the public.

Our hope is that the “Hub & Spoke” system used in Kuching is more effective than the system that was introduced in the Klang Valley and in Penang – both of which eventually saw reduced numbers of hubs and more direct service – because governments were not interested in the complicated planning that is required to make the ‘hub & spoke’ system work.

And while we are happy to see that Abang Jo has not once mentioned “LRT”, we would like to know more about the plan for “Rapid Transit” connections (Kuching CAT?)between the hubs.

If there are no rapid transit connections between the hubs, the inconvenience of “transfer + wait” and the lack of information would drive many people away from public transport (as it happened in KL and Penang).

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6 thoughts on “Kuching to get RM200 million transport hubs”

  1. THat’s good news and I really hope the authority concern speed up the process as the slower it is, the poor public transportation system will only thwart the business and whatever activities as a whole.

    Is there a plan for LRT? Hope to see that in the future.

    Thanks.

    1. Li

      Thank you for your comments. Frankly, LRT requires a large amount of density around stations in order for the project to be viable – generally, there must be 10,000 people living/working around a station to make it financially viable.

      A bus rapid transit system will move a significant number of people but cost less than 1/10 the LRT – and it will meet Kuching’s public transport needs for many years.

      Regards, Moaz for TRANSIT

  2. SCORE moots railway between Tanjung Manis and Similajau

    April 27, 2010, Tuesday

    KUCHING: A railway linking Tanjung Manis in Sarikei and Similajau in Bintulu is currently being discussed as part of Sarawak’s plan to develop the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).

    CROSSING BORDERS: A railway linking Tanjung Manis and Similajau will improve accessibility within the two regions to meet the growing demands and expectations of potential investors of the SCORE project.
    According to a research report by AmResearch Sdn Bhd (AmResearch) this new link was aimed at improving accessibility within the two regions to meet the growing demands and expectations of potential investors.

    SCORE which covered 70,709 square kilometres was to be developed in three phases over a 22 year period from 2008 until 2030 with a targeted RM334 billion worth of investments according to the research house.

    AmResearch predicted cargo movement between Tanjung Manis and Similajau to reach approximately 5 million tonnes annually by 2020.

    The research house highlighted to date that SCORE had attracted close to RM30 billion in investments. Should this project be feasible, AmResearch noted that the Tanjung Manis-Similajau rail link would be a further boost to the order book replenishments of Malaysian contractors.

    Latest developments validated AmResearch’s earlier convictions that infrastructure works within Tanjung Manis should perk up as the region had been identified as one of the three major growth nodes within SCORE.

    Apart from the proposed rail link, the research house noted that the Sarawak government would begin building Universiti Teknologi MARA’s (UiTM) permanent campus in Tanjung Manis by October in addition to a Junior Mara Science college.

    There had also been plans to widen the port at Tanjung Manis at an estimated cost or RM350 million, added the research house.

    Among its peers, the research house stated that Hock Seng Lee (HSL) with a maintained RM2.00 per share could be a key beneficiary of stronger contract flows in Tanjung Manis.

    The group was involved in the initial development of the area which included Tanjung Manis’ integrated deep sea fishing port and airport extension as well as associated land reclamation works.

    Comments: Am disappointed that the rail line is not even considered Kuching, which is the capital city of Sarawak. Wouldn’t that be more viable to have the rail line start from KUching which not only brings goods but also passengers.

  3. So where is the 200 million RM to develop the p transport system in Kuching, which is a never ending story while KL and other west malaysian cities oledi got money injection such as the allocation for MRT….

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