TRANSIT took note of the following article describing changes to bus service in Johor Baru, with a new “no pick up” order for Jalan Wong Ah Fook, diversion of urban stage buses to Larkin Sentral, and a new free shuttle bus connecting the two areas.
JOHOR Baru City Council has come up with a solution to the the problem of traffic congestion in Jalan Wong Ah Fook, which it believes is caused by the long queue of stage buses waiting for passengers.
The council recently announced that effective May 1, all stage buses plying the northwest route, which is basically the Skudai corridor, may only drop off passengers by the road. They will not be allowed to pick up passengers.
For 5 years and in fact, many more, the members of TRANSIT have been talking about improving public transportation to bring flexibility to our communities.
We recognize the importance of the car, but unlike others, we recognize that our communities do not have to be totally dependent on the car as our only means of getting around.
That is why we at TRANSIT have continuously called for better, more reliable public transport – buses, trains and LRT – to give the public reliable alternatives.
The problem is that the focus of the government and authorities has been on building more LRT or MRT. Yet they forget that a majority of public transport users get to KL via buses – and the fastest, easiest way to get more people to use public transport is to make buses more reliable, faster, and more efficient.
This would encourage the public to use public transport, rather than attempting to drive into the city – creating unnecessary pressure on our roads, an artificial shortage of parking spaces, and a pointless and wasteful use of precious space in our city centre for the storage of cars.
TRANSIT took note of this interesting and disturbing article about the introduction of a night market at the site of the old North Klang bus terminal, which was closed in late 2007 when Klang Sentral was opened.
The irony, of course, is that the bus area remains closed to buses – despite the fact that most buses that serve Klang town have returned to the North Klang bus terminal area, and Klang residents have called on the MPK to improve amenities and facilities.
What makes it worse is that in 4 years, the Selangor government has not stepped in to improve public transport in Klang, reopening the North Klang bus terminal and introducing new services. In addition, SPAD has not stepped in and resolved the issue, despite entreaties from TRANSIT, who recommended to SPAD that solving the Klang Sentral and North Klang bus terminal issues was the best place for them to get started.
The resolution of the North Klang bus terminal issue is going to be a major factor in any improvement to public transport in the west Klang Valley.
TRANSIT took note of this interesting piece of information from the Selangor Times – a plan for “Rapid Transit Bus” routes, minibus services and limited-stop bus routes in Petaling Jaya.
Click here for a larger version of the image above. The February 3, 2012 issue of Selangor Times can be seen here in the scribd feed.
The proposed line would run from a bus terminal in SS7 (near the proposed SS7 LRT station?) to the bus terminal in Damansara Damai, running via Subang Airport Road, Jalan Sg. Buloh and Jalan Kuala Selangor. Whether or not the line can be considered as “Bus Rapid Transit” (or another name for Bus Expressway Transit or Expressway Rapid Transit) remains to be seen – after all, we (indeed, the public in general) have to look at the details of the plan.
According to this article in the Selangor Times, “Water taxis in PJ by 2015?” boats and hovercrafts will also ferry passengers from jetties built along Sungai Damansara, Sungai Kayu Ara, Sungai Penchala, Sungai Tambul and Sungai Payong.
Seriously? As great (well, “creative”) as all these ideas are, we would like to see the MBPJ take the steps to improve public transport first – like setting up a public transport / urban transport office to determine how realistic and feasible these plans are.
Then, engage with the public to set up a MBPJ transport council to discuss these proposals, and implement actual public consultation to see if the public actually want these proposed services.
Finally, figure out how to run the service in a way that actually works and get people to use public transport.
TRANSIT took note of this interesting article which discusses the Open Day that Prasarana is holding to share information about the LRT Extension Programme Open Day which will inform the public about the Ampang & Kelana Jaya LRT extension plans.
By now everyone should be aware that a major crisis is taking place in the bus industry.
The shut down of CityLiner bus services throughout was the major ‘tipping pint’ in a series of crises [TRANSIT: refer to our “No Bus for You” series of posts] that showed the precarious state of public transport and the bus industry – and made it clear that SPAD has lost the plot by focusing on the MRT project rather than revamping & transforming public transport.
However, we need the government, SPAD and Prasarana-RapidKL to acknowledge that their “solutions” are not holistic and not sustainable. The problem is that they are focusing on short-term solutions for the crisis, not long-term solutions that will make public transport work, sustainably and effectively, and most importantly, meet the needs of public transport users.
And this, ladies & gentlemen, is the biggest problem. Everyone talks about fixing public transport but all the solutions that are put forward focus on the bus industry, rather than the public transport service. What’s worse is that the ‘solutions’ still fail to consider the needs of the public transport users.
TRANSIT has taken note of the following letters in the newspapers regarding the public transport crisis – suggesting that the crisis could be resolved with the introduction of van services and owner-operated minibuses.
While TRANSIT appreciates the suggestions, and appreciate that vans and minibuses still have a role in our public transport mix, we do not believe that vans and minibuses by themselves are an effective solution for our public transport problems. Unregulated vans & minibuses cannot replace stage buses, have created problems in the past (and will likely create more problems in the future), and do not resolve the fundamental problems in the industry – a lack of organization & leadership.