Will more buses in Putrajaya overcome the parking problem at precincts? (Update#1)

TRANSIT took note of this interesting article highlighting the plan by the Putrajaya Corporation to reduce parking congestion by encouraging more people to take the bus.

More buses in Putrajaya to overcome parking problem at precincts (The Star)
Monday November 1, 2010
By CHARLES FERNANDEZ
charlesf@thestar.com.my

PERBADANAN Putrajaya (PPj) will be adding another 25 buses to its fleet of 150 by March next year to overcome the congestion and parking problem in the federal administrative capital.

At your service: The new buses will ply areas where the bigger ones do not go to. Image courtesy of The Star.

The new buses, which are smaller than the ones being used now, will service the housing areas. The big buses only travel along the main roads in the housing areas.


PPj president Tan Sri Samsuddin Osman said this was to overcome the parking problem at the precincts where the government offices were located and to encourage more government servants to use the bus service.

“The Putrajaya Park and Ride (P&R) system will be enhanced and awareness created to encourage the working population to use the facilities,’’ he said.

PPj has also launched a campaign “Jom Naik Bas” to encourage residents to use the buses to get to work to overcome congestion and parking problems.

Samsuddin said the new buses would cater for residents living in apartment blocks and hoped there would no longer be double and illegal parking at the government offices.

TRANSIT: Ah, the power of hope. How about enforcement? But how can you enforce regulations when government vehicles are the ones often double parking in Putrajaya’s Presint 1????

The buses are said to be running empty most of the time although they provide the connection between the major residential areas and the city centre.

Drivers have claimed that there were no passengers to pick up along the route although they keep strictly to schedules.

TRANSIT: Given the population density of Putrajaya, this isn’t exactly a surprise – but who cares – the buses are paid for and they are clean NGV buses.

Despite running empty most of the time, drivers have been told to keep schedules in an effort to create awareness on the availability of buses on these routes.

“With the increase in the number of buses, the routes will also be increased so that every area is covered. There is no excuse not to use the bus service. The fares are kept at 50sen and there are buses every 15 minutes. Previously the service was every 30 minutes,’’ said Samsuddin.

TRANSIT: As usual, the problem is not with the supply of buses – it is about making the effort to get information about the service into the hands of existing and potential passengers – including visitors to Putrajaya.

To date there isn’t even an independent Nadi Putra website – just out of date information on the Putrajaya holdings website and Putrajaya Community website! Where is http://www.nadiputra.com.my?

He said PPj was encouraging the P&R system where motorists could park their vehicles for RM2 and use the same parking ticket to hop onto any bus for any number of rides on the same day.

He said the new buses would also be convenient for schoolchildren during the morning, afternoon and evening hours.

“These buses can pack in about 40 passengers,’’ he said.

He said the buses would be a common feature in Precinct 9 and Precinct 15 where many of the government quarters and apartment blocks were located.

He added that PPj would also be providing more covered bus shelters which would be built in stages Putrajaya Holdings (PjH).

Samsuddin said both PPj and PjH had done their best and the residents could reciprocate by using the facilities available to prevent pollution and traffic congestion near the government buildings.

TRANSIT Says:

Well, well…it seems like more of the same … add more buses and more people will use public transport.

Unfortunately, it does not exactly work like that. The problem is that most people view public transportation simply from the transportation perspective – if we provide the buses, that is enough (See Ipoh, Melaka, Kuching).

Some suggest that people are not using the buses because the buses are not new. Hence the updated perspective – if we provide new buses, that is enough. (See KL).

Some suggest that the problem is not the buses but the infrastructure – so building a new bus terminal will encourage people to use public transport – and reduce traffic congestion too! (See KL, Klang Sentral, Ipoh).

Finally, there are a few companies that understand that service and grabbing the attention of customers is about more than providing the buses or the terminals – it is about providing information, communication of that information, and creating an interesting, exciting, and comfortable environment which will create more enjoyment of public transport. (See RapidPenang).

The reason why more people are not using Nadi Putra’s bus services is not because the service is expensive (it costs RM0.50 per trip). It is not because the buses are old (since the whole fleet is new). It is not because the buses do not follow the schedule (because they do). And it is not because the buses are too crowded (because they are not).

So the reasons why people are not using the Nadi Putra bus service and preferring to use their car are actually pretty simple:

  • They do not know about it
  • The car/motorcycle is more convenient/comfortable/reliable

That’s about it. And if PPJ and their transport division want more people to use the Nadi Putra bus service, they have to provide them with the information that they will need to encourage them to use the bus service.

So what is needed? TRANSIT shares a list below:

  • Independent, http://www.nadiputra.com.my website
  • Route maps, brochures, schedules (available online, in paper handouts, and for downloading)
  • Social Networking (facebook, twitter, etc).
  • Contests and activities
  • Route Planner
  • Bus shelters in Presint 2
  • More monitoring of vehicles parked in bus bays
  • Increased parking charges and enforcement
  • Bus service from Kajang, Dengkil, KLIA, Seremban and KL
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