Category Archives: Economic Planning Unit

KiDEx facing legal roadblock with @pjcitycouncil

TRANSIT took note of the following article describing legal issues that will delay the approval of the Kinrara-Damansara Expressway.

Apparently the company that will build the expressway and has received ‘conditional approval’ from the Works Ministry and support from Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim, has failed to get approval from the Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya…in fact their plans have been rejected 3 times!

In Selangor, legal roadblock may halt controversial highway plan (The Malay Mail Online 7 May 2014)
BY SHAZWAN MUSTAFA KAMAL

KiDEx Sdn Bhd may face a major setback in its plan to build its RM2.42 billion super-elevated highway in Selangor as it has not obtained approval from the city’s local council office.

The Malay Mail Online understands that the proposal for the controversial Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (KIDEX) was rejected on three occasions by the Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MBPJ) as developers had failed to provide sufficient details on the project.

Continue reading KiDEx facing legal roadblock with @pjcitycouncil

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What the KiDEx CEO Says

TRANSIT has gone on record with our objections to the Kinrara-Damansara expressway. Our reasoning, expressed here, focuses on the inherent efficiency of public transport as compared to elevated highways as well as the huge social and economic impacts of the highway.

But we always want to give you the opportunity to hear both sides of the story, so we present to you the following:

First, a podcast from BFM Radio in which the CEO comments on public transport. Second, an article in which the KiDEx CEO argues that the projection of 3.9 million cars on Malaysian roads by 2025 makes more highways necessary.

Finally we have comments from the CEO on our page, followed by our response.

Continue reading What the KiDEx CEO Says

Will unilateral approval of KiDEx fracture the Selangor Government?

TRANSIT took note of the increasingly public disagreement within the Selangor Government about the prioritization of the Kinrara-Damansara expressway also known as the KiDEx ” skyway.”

4 ADUNs from Petaling Jaya have already expressed their opposition to the approval of the expressway and called for greater transparency and suggested that the corridor would be better used for public transport. There is a public group of residents expressing their concerns. Azman Ali, a member of the government and a challenger for Menteri Besar, has also expressed his dismay at the project saying that the government was putting the cart before the horse.

In response the Menteri Besar has said that not building the highway would be unfair to the developer.

Continue reading Will unilateral approval of KiDEx fracture the Selangor Government?

ADUNs in Petaling Jaya call for PJ LRT instead of proposed Kinrara Damansara Expressway

Transit took note of the proposal from 4 ADUN in the Selangor State Assembly (representing Petaling Jaya) that the route of the proposed Kinrara Damansara Expressway (a.k.a. “KiDex” or “KIDEX Skyway“) would be better utilized for public transportation.

Image of proposed Rapid Transit (orange) in KiDex corridor (blue)

Continue reading ADUNs in Petaling Jaya call for PJ LRT instead of proposed Kinrara Damansara Expressway

Prasarana proposes cooperation and “code share” system for Klang Valley bus operators (Update #1)

Update: The response from bus operators & government is mixed!

Yesterday TRANSIT learned of a proposal from Prasarana, the government-owned “National Infrastructure Company” to introduce a cooperative system between bus operators, where bus operators would share information, operate routes together under “code sharing” agreements, and implement “blue ocean strategy” to rationalize their operations.

We were immediately surprised and intrigued by the possibilities … and wary of the risks.

The public transport industry in Malaysia is in crisis. Part of the reason for this is because there is no holistic understanding within the government and among the public of what public transport is (a public utility), what it does (stimulates and ensures productivity and economic growth), and what it provides (mobility and access).

Malaysia has no National Public Transport Strategy or any form of cohesive public transport strategy except for “build infrastructure” and “subsidize or buy out when necessary.” And we should mention that to many Malaysians both of those “strategies” have the unfortunate subtext of “enrich cronies.”

What makes things worse is that there is no clear interest in improving public transport services or approaching (and appreciating) public transport as a public utility with economic & social benefits. The public does not seem to be aware and the state & local governments did not seem to care.

Until the crisis started, that is.

Now state governments are being forced to take notice and ensure that there are solutions to the problems in the industry. Unfortunately, they do not have the knowledge, experience or the tools to ensure these solutions will work.

SPAD has asked state governments to do whatever they can to resolve the problems in the short term. The Governments of Penang and Negri Sembilan have stepped in with subsidies. Prasarana’s proposal for cooperation might represent an alternative way of doing things – but the big question is, Will private operators want to work with a government-owned asset-owner-cum-operator that receives capital & operational subsidy from the federal government and appears to be actively competing with private operators on any number of routes?

And more importantly, will corporate collaboration work effectively and meet the needs of the public transport users?

More information, articles & comments after the jump!
Continue reading Prasarana proposes cooperation and “code share” system for Klang Valley bus operators (Update #1)

No bus for you, Seremban and surrounding area! (Update #4)

TRANSIT woke up to more and more bad news with bus service! Thousands of commuters living around Seremban are affected as local bus services are shut down.

Going nowhere: Bus drivers and employees of the consortium sitting at their depot in Oakland near Seremban 2 after services to several areas were terminated yesterday. Image courtesy of The Star.
More buses than usual lying idle at the depot now that services have been greatly reduced in Negri Sembilan. Image courtesy of The Star.

The biggest surprise – the buses shown in the photos above are “CityLiner” branded buses – and the CityLiner brand is used by various subsidiary companies of Konsortium Transnasional Berhad – Malaysia’s largest (and probably most complicated – see corporate structure here) public transport consortium and owner of well known public transport brands Transnasional, Nice and Plusliner.

The item below is quoted from the KTB website.

Cityliner – Negeri Sembilan Operations

Just like the two regions above, this region is an operations merger of four subsidiary companies under Jelebu Holdings Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary (83.2%) company of Park May Berhad that operates in Western part of Negeri Sembilan with two other subsidiary companies of KKMB, i.e. Starise Sdn Bhd and the stage bus outfit of Syarikat Rembau Tampin Sdn Bhd that operates the Eastern part of Negeri Sembilan. A Regional Manager was appointed to lead one integrated team to focus on the profitability of running the entire stage bus operations in Negeri Sembilan. The resulted merger has a capacity of running approximately 215 permits/buses. Besides running ordinary routes in housing areas and on main roads of Negeri Sembilan, the Cityliner buses here also serve the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) from Seremban, Nilai and Banting.

Now, we are really not happy. We could understand if a small bit-player was forced into stopping service because of continuous loss-making operations. But this is the largest public transport consortium in the country! Can they not find a way to keep services running?

In any case, read the articles. We will provide links to the various articles and comments after the jump.
Continue reading No bus for you, Seremban and surrounding area! (Update #4)

Final draft of Greater KL/KV masterplan now on SPAD website (Update #1 – guess what)

Update: It is interesting to note that this post is TRANSIT’s 888th published post!

TRANSIT notes that the final draft of the Greater Kuala Lumpur / Klang Valley masterplan has now been posted to the SPAD website under the section about the National Public Transport Masterplan (which, incidentally, should be posted to the SPAD website in December 2011).

You can find the Greater KL / KV masterplan at this link: http://spad.gov.my/en/projects/pub-trans-master-frame/overview/167.html.

Links to the documents can also be seen after the jump Continue reading Final draft of Greater KL/KV masterplan now on SPAD website (Update #1 – guess what)

Rail link to Subang Skypark on the way?

TRANSIT took note of this interesting article which suggests that the Malaysian government has approved a project to build a direct railway connection between KL Sentral and Subang Airport/Subang Skypark within 2 years.

Of course, 2 years in planning-speak can actually mean a lot more time – but perhaps this rail line would be in place by 2015? Eventually the rail line will be extended to link up with the KTM mainline at Sg. Buloh.

The extension of the rail line, which would be taking place in two phases, will link the KTM Port Klang rail subdivision to the mainline at Sg. Buloh, first with a service to Subang Skypark and then a second phase linking Subang Skypark to Sg. Buloh.

RM1.5b railway link to Subang airport (Business Times)
By Sharen Kaur
Published: 2011/11/03

Kuala Lumpur: Tan Sri Ravindran Menon’s Subang Skypark Sdn Bhd is believed to have received an offer from the government to undertake a RM1.5 billion project to build a railway line, people familiar with the matter said yesterday. Continue reading Rail link to Subang Skypark on the way?

ETP: Masterplan is not just about MRT. TRANSIT: But the MRT is all you seem to be talking about!

TRANSIT took note of a very interesting commentary from Ahmad Suhaili Idrus, the Director of the Urban Public Transport NKRA and Greater Kuala Lumpur / Klang Valley NKEA in response to a letter from TRANSIT’s Advisor Rajiv Rishyakaran, regarding recent comments by Idris Jala that the Klang Valley would be choked by 2020 if the MRT was not built.

Ahmad Suhaili attempted to clarify the situation by saying that the NKEA / NKRA projects related to public transport included improvements to rail and bus services, improved integration, improved infrastructure and expanded services. You can read the full comment below, but first, consider clicking on these links for some background information:

And now, the response from Ahmad Suhaili:

MRT is integrated with LRT, KTM, monorail and bus systems
November 3, 2011 By ETP Malaysia

We refer to the letter ‘Idris Jala is wrong: MRT is not the only solution for Klang Valley’, written by Rajiv Rishyakaran from TRANSIT

Presumably, the writer was referring to Dato’ Sri’s response to a question during the recent ETP Turns One event, in which he said:

“MRT is absolutely in my opinion totally and utterly needed for our city. If we don’t have an MRT I can tell you, by the year 2020 this city will be choked. Continue reading ETP: Masterplan is not just about MRT. TRANSIT: But the MRT is all you seem to be talking about!

First their hands were tied. Now SPAD’s hands are off?

TRANSIT took note of this interesting set of comments from SPAD Chair Syed Hamid Albar, indicating that the Land Public Transport Commission no longer had any role in the MRT project since the railway scheme had been approved by the Minister of Transport.

Aside from this being total hokum, since SPAD does have a responsibility for the regulation of the project, oversight of the construction & ensuring that operations are carried out safely!

And in light of the crash between a train and tanker in Kota Kinabalu on 31 October 2011) (caused by the tanker crossing the railway allowance illegally at an unsafe crossing – an action that occurred because of gross negligence & recklessness), it is clear that SPAD needs to play an important role in maintaining and ensuring railway safety.

Of course SPAD doesn’t have a role in Sabah, since that is the responsibility of the Sabah State Railways, but there are certainly enough problems in Peninsular Malaysia for SPAD’s railways division to deal with.

What disappoints TRANSIT is that SPAD seems to be swinging like a pendulum. One moment they are talking tough about new policies and making sure that permit owners and public transport operators follow the rules. The next moment, they are talking about how their hands are tied and they cannot take ‘extreme’ action.

This “hands off” approach suggests that SPAD is not acting in the public interest because it is not supporting the interests of the public – meaning that its independence and authority are in doubt – not just externally, but internally as well!

‘MRT not SPAD’s concern anymore’ (Free Malaysia Today)
Patrick Lee
November 1, 2011

Chinatown and negotiations over MRT land acquisitions are not SPAD’s problem, but MRT Corp’s, says Syed Hamid Albar.

KUALA LUMPUR: Chinatown and the My Rapid Transit (MRT) are not the Land Public Transport Commission’s (SPAD) problem anymore, its chief said.

SPAD chairman Syed Hamid Albar said that people unhappy with the MRT affecting Jalan Sultan lots needed to take it up with the project’s owners, MRT Corp.

“Whatever discussion (there is) on Jalan Sultan, we’ve completed our job. We’ve taken in the public’s views, now you’ll have to deal with MRT Corp. Continue reading First their hands were tied. Now SPAD’s hands are off?