No bus for you Kedah – even if your government was willing to meet…

TRANSIT took note of this article in the Star which gives a further update on the shut down of CityLiner bus services in Kedah & Pahang.

Both state governments have commented that they implored the bus companies to keep operating, but were not able to get the guarantees that they needed.

This situation makes it more and more clear that the public transport system is starting to break down – as both state government and SPAD are unable to exercise any authority or provide timely solutions to resolve the issues.

Of course, this is not to blame the state governments or SPAD – but the fact is, they were warned early on. And speaking of warning, TRANSIT has been warning the public, the state governments, and SPAD for years that more attention needed to be paid to public transport policy and resolving the problems in the industry.

Kedah Govt willing to meet KTB over bus service (The Star)
December 3, 2011
By EMBUN MAJID
embun@thestar.com.my

ALOR SETAR: The Kedah Govern­ment is willing to discuss with Konsortium Transnasional Bhd (KTB) on the problem of its stage bus service in the state.

State Environment, Chinese Com­munity Affairs and Transport Com­mittee chairman Tan Joo Long @ Tan Chow Kang said it had asked KTB on Nov 20 to postpone its decision to stop its service for at least a month pending a discussion with Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Ra­­zak.

However, he said the management refused.

“I told them that the matter needed to be discussed during the state executive council meeting. The management then asked to meet Azizan personally.

“The Mentri Besar agreed to meet them but they still stopped the bus service,” he said here yesterday.

It was reported that the bus service to major parts of Kedah and Pahang temporarily ceased from Thursday because their operations were no longer sustainable due to continuous losses.

KTB executive director and chief executive officer Tengku Hasmadi Tengku Hashim said the discontinuation of services followed a notice given to both state governments and the Land Public Transport Commis­sion (SPAD) early last month.

He said the Kedah Government could not provide any guarantee of assistance despite its request for KTB to continue operating for the next three months while there had been no response from Pahang.

Tan said there were 18 routes run by KTB’s Cityliner in Kedah covering most major towns, including Sungai Petani and Kulim, adding that the company claimed to have suffered RM4mil in losses yearly and was requesting for RM350,000 a month to help cover the losses.

TRANSIT Says:

We have to wonder how long it will take and how many more shutdowns will be necessary for state governments and SPAD to recognize that the public transport industry needs their full attention. No more focus on the MRT & Klang Valley alone – it’s time for effective national policy and a framework and action plan to make public transport work.

The Bus Transformation Plan is a start – but it is clearly lacking in directly and it is too centralized to be an effective solution.

We do not want SPAD to repeat the mistakes of the CVLB. That is why SPAD and state governments need to work together to resolve the problems in the industry before it is too late.

The irony is that the only state governments that have attempted to do anything effective for public transport are Penang (the Penang Transport Council & Bridge Express Shuttle Transit service) and Melaka!

Imagine that – despite the failures and embarrassments that have occurred in Melaka, the state has still been more proactive about public transport than almost any other in the country!

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