RapidKL’s women-only bus service to expand next year?

TRANSIT took note of this article indicating that there may be a plan to expand RapidKL’s women-only bus services next year.

Women-only buses cheer: Additional coaches and routes being reviewed for launch next year (Malay Mail)
Shahrim Tamrin
Friday, June 10th, 2011

HAPPY LOT: RapidKL women-only coach during a trial run last December. Image courtesy of The Malay Mail.

KUALA LUMPUR: THE number of RapidKL women-only buses and routes covered in the Klang Valley may be increased next year as a result of overwhelming response from female commuters.

Shahril Mokhtar, group managing director of Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd (Prasarana – which operates RapidKL)) said: “The feedback we received from working adults and college students on the special coaches has been overwhelmingly encouraging. The ladies are happy with this special service from their respective areas to the city.”

The Rapid Women Bus service is an add-on to normal bus operations, and he told The Malay Mail it provided value-for-money service, especially for female commuters.

This female-only service was launched officially by Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil on Jan 17, after a month-long trial run the previous month.

While the trial run was conducted on seven bus routes with high passenger volumes, the service has since been extended to 15 routes spread around the Klang Valley.

RapidKL ensures there is at least one women-only bus during both the morning and evening rush hours on all the routes covered and start at 6.45am and 7.30 am, and also at 6.00pm and 6.45pm.

This woman-only coach service is offered only on weekdays, excluding weekends and public holidays, and was introduced to provide more comfort and security to women passengers, and to protect them from sexual harassment and jostling from male passengers on packed buses during peak hours.

[TRANSIT: It is to our collective shame that such a service is necessary in our society.]

Although the bus service is only for women, boys below 12 years are also permitted to board the buses if accompanied by their female companions or relatives.

Shahril said the special service hasn’t affected the overall RapidKL bus services as additional buses are deployed.

“After sixth months, we are now getting lots of requests from the ladies for RapidKL to add more frequencies and extend women-only buses to other routes in the Klang Valley,” he smiled.

Asked when these would be deployed, he said: “We are not certain yet when to extend this special service.

Perhaps it can be early next year as we need to study comprehensively the whole RapidKL bus fleet and operations.”

The Malay Mail understands the average ridership of women-only coach was very high at 116,547 passengers, with total commuters ferried at a daily average of 6,069 in the first-quarter of the year – a remarkable feat in passenger volume, considering the service was only introduced in January.

RapidKL women-only bus routes

RapidKL Women-Only bus routes (current) - graphic courtesy of The Malay Mail.

TRANSIT Says:

As above – we wish this type of service were not deemed necessary in our society – but we have to acknowledge the unhappy reality that such services are necessary – and the male members of TRANSIT appreciate that the women-only bus service is an “add-on” and not “really” coming at an expense to them.

But it should be clearly stated that providing a women-only bus service should be done above and beyond an effective and complete public transport service for all passengers.

It’s too bad that we are just not there yet. What makes it worse is that there appears to be no plan to help us get to that goal.

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3 thoughts on “RapidKL’s women-only bus service to expand next year?”

  1. am not agreeable at all that we shld give a women only buses. next there will be a women only LRT, Monorail, MRT. as it is, the frequency and capacity and the routes covered is insufficient. this is an unnecessary extravagance.

    2) issue of women only buses does not resolve other issue of security during taking of public transport. to get ppl to use public transport, there needs to be a sense of security that when taking the public transport, or at the stations it is safe from pickpockets, deranged individuals, abusive individuals etc. we need to address all these collectively, not just allocate buses for women

    3) we need also need to address issue of accessibility of public transport making it disability friendly. yes, it is fine that we hv ramp for wheelchairs at certain LRT station, but abt making the pavement flat and easy to be accessible everywhere? if the pedestrian walks are hardly pedestrian friendly, i doubt it is wheelchair friendly

    women only buses is an easy way out to solve a larger problem of making public transport safe and secure

  2. also to say that the service is an “add-on” does not really mean that resource is not being depleted elsewhere. That “add-on” could hv been deployed elsewhere to make trips more frequent or to create new routes covering gaps not covered b4. economically, there is never such a thing as a free lunch

    1. @William

      No disagreement, but there are other “add on” services that are far less in demand – like the Dedicated Transport Service to Cyberjaya and the Cyberjaya shuttle bus. Again, finding efficiency with existing service is something that all companies must work on.

      Women-only bus services are good PR and make it look like RapidKL is doing something when they really are not. But again, it is just PR.

      Regards, Moaz for TRANSIT

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