World Car(e)free Day is September 22. How will you celebrate?

TRANSIT has taken note that World Carfree Day is celebrated on 22 September of every year. According to the article below, this is the first time Car free day is being celebrated in Malaysia.

Actually, that is not true. Many people have celebrated Car-free day in Malaysia. Some people celebrate Car-free day each & every day. But this is the first year that two major things have happened: first, the public has experienced a car-free KL that had nothing to do with the Balik Kampung period. Second, this is the first time that the government & GLC public transport operators are acknowledging Car-free day.

This year TRANSIT has already had the experience of a car-free KL – May 9 proved to be an interesting day in so many ways, but most importantly because it showed that people can get to KL using public transport and they can enjoy KL in so many different ways without cars.

That is why TRANSIT has decided to refer to “Car” free day as “Car(e)free” Day – to remind us that our lives can be free of cares & worries if we just give up the powerful hold that our cars have on us.

We are talking about one day, free of the worries related to petrol, parking, jams, tolls, police checks, smash & grab thefts, “laptop detectors”, fender benders, organized auto-theft rings, motorcyclists knocking your mirror, etc. etc. etc.

We want to see a car(e)free KL one 22 September.Can it happen? If not this year, then what about next year (22 September 2012 is a Saturday)? If not next year, perhaps the year after? Can?

Until then, read about how our public transport operators are celebrating World Car(e)free Day:

Use public transport or cycle to LRT stations to mark World Car Free Day
By BAVANI M
bavanim@thestar.com.my
Photo by SAMUEL ONG

In conjunction with World Car Free Day which falls tomorrow, Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad (Prasarana), the operator of the light rail transit (LRT) and monorail systems in the Klang Valley, wants Kuala Lumpur residents to take public transport or cycle to its stations.

[TRANSIT: Prasarana is the asset owner for the LRT & monorail. RapidKL (LRT) & KLStarrail Sdn. Bhd. (mnorail) are the operators. But everything is aligned vertically under Prasarana anyways.]

Prasarana chairman Tan Sri Ismail Adam said the company was embarking on a campaign to create awareness and encourage people to use public transport.

The campaign called Less Car, Less Pollution will run from Sept 22 to Sept 22 next year.

Prasarana will be distributing coupons throughout the year whereby commuters can redeem tickets for a free ride to entice people to use their rail systems and save the environment in the process. A total of 150,000 coupons will be distributed tomorrow.

Ready to start: Ismail Adam putting a sticker on the windscreen of a car at the Bangsar LRT station to mark the launch. Image courtesy of The Star.

“People can also cycle from their homes to the LRT station. We have allocated a place for them to store their bicycles at 17 LRT stations,’’ he said, adding that Prasarana also allows those using foldable bicycles, to bring them onboard the LRT and monorail coaches during non-peak hours.

[TRANSIT: We have been trying to get Prasarana/RapidKL to consider updating this policy to allow foldable bicycles during all daytime hours. As a start, we have asked them to consider a special change for car-free day.]

In conjunction with the campaign, the company also launched the Spot The Sticker Contest whereby cars displaying the stickers will win Rapidpass worth RM100. The contest will also run for a year.

Discounts on LRT fares as well as an ongoing promotion with various non-governmental organisations and environmental groups will also be carried out to promote the campaign.

The World Car-Free Day campaign is a global movement which began in 1997. This is the first time Malaysia is observing it.

For details log on to http://www.myrapid.com.my

TRANSIT Says:

Thank you to Prasarana. We don’t know why RapidKL is not mentioned in the article but then, that is a wholly different issue.

Ladies & Gentlemen, this is the first time that our public transport operators are celebrating world car(e)free day. Let’s join them in the celebration and push for car(e)free day every day in KL.

It can be done. It has been done. It will be done.

Happy World Car(e)free Day. Tell us how you celebrated!

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13 thoughts on “World Car(e)free Day is September 22. How will you celebrate?”

      1. @Moaz

        Thanks for the info. what about weekends? is it whole day also off peak hours, or still the same time frame? can I also take my folding bike onto rapidkl buses too?

        1. @jerping

          Just tweet to @myRapidKL on the question of weekends – surely they would give you an answer.

          There is actually a statement on foldable bicycles somewhere in the website. We just couldn’t find it in our first search.

          You can also check out our posts that relate (somewhat) to the issue:

          They might have some more information about RapidKL policy.

          Regards, moaz for TRANSIT

  1. Will giving away 150,000 tickets will change people’s action towards Car-Free? They mentioned that there will be a lots of programs for the next 1 year…not sure what kind of program..will have to wait and see. Improved waiting time from 20 min to 15min for the buses…again it will fail because of the traffic jam that will hinder the buses to arrive on time. This is nothing new as I have heard that since 2006.

    Common RapidKL…improved on the systems.. eg bus lane strict enforcement, build bicycles lane via road diet planning, have a dedicated coach for bicycles. Improve on the routes covered eg to go to Puchong from Subang, I need to take the bus to Mid Valley first then take another bus to Puchong which doesn’t make sense at all. I have tried RapidKL for 1 1/2 years i.e from Jan 2006 till Jun 2007. I gave up. I have experimented between taking the public transport and riding a bicycle within 25km and below, and found that riding a bike is much more faster, less stressful, economical and it offers Door- to-Door Transportation. What is needed is planning on infrastructures that build around people not build around automobiles. I would recommend a Drive Less campaign instead.

    1. @Azizan

      Thanks for the feedback. You might be interested to note that we shared some info about Sportworks bus-mounted bicycle racks (http://www.bicycleracks.com) with RapidPenang and they expressed an interest.

      However a few days later they told us that the JPJ had rejected the idea of bicycle racks mounted on buses – perhaps seeing it as a safety issue although the record is quite safe.

      We are looking for more support from cyclists who would be interested in intermodal transport (cycling + bus) and would like to see bicycle racks mounted on buses in Malaysia.

      Regards, Moaz for TRANSIT

      1. @Moaz
        I also would like to see some bike racks on buses and trains in KL, but it is very unlikely. however, allowing folding bikes on board is do-able.

        bikes-only buses are not practical. there will be major complaints from bus commuters. we have not reached a point where we have many cyclist-commuter.

        anyway, like @azizan said, i would like to see bike lanes, bus lanes and strict enforcement. that would be a great start to change people’s perception on cycling and public transport, as an efficient, timely, economical and environment-friendly means of transportation.

        oh, talking about taking bikes on buses and trains. where are the bike storage facilities in office buildings, hypermarts, shopping complexes, transit malls, etc?

  2. I applaud Prasarana for their move to encourage more usage of public transport and less of cars. However, might I suggest that if Prasarana is really serious about reducing pollution and carbon emissions that a far more (cost) effective (and simpler) way to achieve even better results is to simply make sure that their bus drivers stop idling (leaving the bus engines and air conditioning running) their buses when they are not in service. It is a very common sight to see RapidKL buses that are parked and empty with their engines and a/c on. This is wasteful and an unnecessary use of fuel and energy, in addition to pumping out more carbon and other pollutants for no good reason. For example, check out the bus and taxi area in KL Sentral that is located under the LRT main entrance level – that whole area is full of toxic fumes because of all the engines that are left running even when the buses and taxis are stationary and not in service!

    And I am also a bicyclist that is fully in support of intermodal transport with buses AND LRT trains. I’ve seen it done in other countries successfully and with minimum fuss. I don’t see why it can’t be done here too.

  3. Tried taking the LRT+KTM to Kelana Jaya..more expensive than taking car and took me 2 hours + 20minites late+ risking life to cross the federal highway and LDP….only office people in KL city are lucky buggers.for people outside KL in the sprawling suburbs like PJ,Kelana Jaya it’s useless..but Shah Alam seem to be easily accessible by bus.

    Long way to go..

  4. “In conjunction with the campaign, the company also launched the Spot The Sticker Contest whereby cars displaying the stickers will win Rapidpass worth RM100. The contest will also run for a year.”

    What a joke…Car Free Day and they are having this spot the sticker contest on a car screen? By right it should be on a Bicycles not Cars!!! Do that on other days if you really want to run that kind of campaign RapidKL.

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