Update: Check out this detailed NST article about the BET6.
TRANSIT took note of this article announcing the launch of Bus Expressway Transit route 6 from Bukit Beruntung (Rawang) to Central Market (KL) using the North South Expressway, Jalan Duta, and Jalan Parlimen.
The service began on 1 June 2011 and is operated by Setara Jaya bus co.
TRANSIT apologizes for not sharing any information with you earlier – but this is the first time we have heard any details about new BET routes.
Faster bus trip to the capital (The Star)
7 June 2011
PUTRAJAYA: The Transport Ministry launched Bus Expressway Transit 6 (BET 6) on June 1, enabling commuters from Bukit Beruntung and its surrounding areas to save up to an hour in travel time to Kuala Lumpur.
By using the PLUS Highway, the buses will take a shorter time to reach their destination.
Under the old route, it took bus commuters more than two hours to travel from Bukit Beruntung to Kuala Lumpur on the old trunk road. They also had to change buses in Rawang.
The bus fare for a one-way journey using BET6 is RM4.
The ministry’s lead National Key Results Area (NKRA) coordinator Ruhaizah Mohamed Rashid said that BET6 was the newest addition to the BET system under the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) to improve urban public transport where buses utilise existing highways to link heavily populated areas and the city centre.
“With BET6, commuters are expected to experience a more reliable and smoother ride as the new route reduces journey time, provides comfort, easy accessibility and connectivity,” said Ruhaizah.
She said the route would be operated by Setara Jaya Sdn Bhd, which also runs BET5.
“After seven months of operation, BET5 has proven to be successful in the Government’s efforts to improve public transportation and to increase ridership under the GTP,” she said.
According to a press release yesterday, since the launch of BET5 in October last year, ridership from Bandar Tasik Puteri via Country Homes in Rawang to KL increased two-fold to 8,390 total ridership within its first five months of operation.
[TRANSIT: 8, 390 riders over 5 months. Let’s cheer for that. No, let’s not because clearly these numbers are unbelievably small. How about some BET routes in areas that are heavily in demand instead?]
There were only 43 passengers daily when BET5 was first launched but this tripled to 138 passengers daily in March 2011.
[TRANSIT: 138 passengers daily? That is basically the equivalent of 3 full buses (at 60 passengers each). Or one KTM Komuter train carriage. Just to give you a sense of perspective.]
“Similar improvement in ridership is expected for the newly-launched BET6,” she said.
She said the ministry had also recorded tremendous improvements in BET1 (Kota Damansara-KL) and BET2 (Bandar Sg Long-KL) launched on Jan 12 last year as well as BET3 (Subang Mewah-KL) and BET4 (Taman Sri Muda-KL), launched on Jan 21 last year.
“Ridership for BET1-4 posted a 78% increase (1,970 ridership daily) from 2,688 ridership per day in QI last year to 4,638 ridership per day in Q1 this year,” she said.
For further information on BET5 and BET6 services, call Setara Jaya at 03-40214566 or 03-40216166.
While we are happy with any improvements to public transport services, this is one example of an improvement that we would question if given the opportunity. Kudos to Pn Ruhaizah and his team for the hard work and dedication (we know they are struggling to win consensus from different agencies and operators which previously work in silo).
Yes, we appreciate the improved and direct service and we are happy that Setara Jaya is participating (so it’s not just RapidBET) – but at the same time, we could see much more significant improvements by making investments in public transport where there are actually lots of people.
There are many bus routes in the Klang Valley that would benefit from expansion or “BET”-ing. Let’s look at improving those bus services as well.
Also, we deeply suggest the government to plan for Expressway Rapid Transit (ERT) service as a holistic ‘BET’ package. BET’s efficiency will be reduced with the increase in congestion on present ‘under-utilized’ expressways, and traffic bottlenecks on the first and last mile journeys (before entering and after exiting the highway) affect the overall door-to-door journey time. After all, with ERT, express bus operators can lease the buses for ERT service use when their capacities are underutilized during peak hours, and fleet management efficiency can be obtained.