Category Archives: Socioeconomic Equity

Haphazard halts are a sign of haphazard planning and policy and organization and management….and especially leadership.

TRANSIT took note of this article in the Star Metro which reminded us how much more needs to be done to improve public transport organization and management in the Klang Valley.

Haphazard halts (The Star Metro,  29 April 2014)

MORE often than not, public buses in the Klang Valley can be seen stopping to pick up passengers willy-nilly, be it by the roadside, along a flyover or even at the junction of a busy main road.

The lack of a proper bus stop or lay-by, does not seem to faze the drivers and the practise has been going on for years.

However, their actions not only contribute to traffic congestion but also pose a threat to life and limb as passengers scramble to board the bus on a busy road.

Continue reading Haphazard halts are a sign of haphazard planning and policy and organization and management….and especially leadership.

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Interesting book talks about elevated walkways in Hong Kong

TRANSIT took note of this very interesting book Hong Kong: City Without Ground which looks closely at the (mostly private) elevated wallway network in Hong Kong.

The article from The Atlantic Cities (excallent graphics and related comments) is linked below.

http://theatlanticcities.com/design/2012/08/hong-kong-city-without-ground/3000/

TRANSIT Says:

Proposals for elevated walkways in Kuala Lumpur often use the walkway network in Hong Kong as an examplar.

The walkways in Hong Kong … with outdoor and indoor connections … was built as a result of crowding on the narrow streets of Hong Kong Island especially in the Central and Wan Chai districts. This network was extended further west and east as development increased, and is being supplemented by elevated walkways in West and East Kowloon.

We cannot simply import technology or ideas from other places without adapting them to the challenges that we face in Kuala Lumpur…and in order to understand these ideas then we need to learn as much about them as possible.

A walkway network for Kuala Lumpur is an important addition to the pedestrian realm but should not be used in place of a real network of pedestrian places at street level…and must be supported by efforts to maintain safety and security.

TRANSIT invites our readers to view the links above and comment below about walkways and pedestrian places in Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia.

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

Briton charged RM450 for 10km trip, sparking furore over cheating cabbies (Update #1)

Update: The Minister of Tourism wants to make taxi drivers into tourism ambassadors with “basic communication skills”.

TRANSIT could not let this article pass by without posting it and commenting.

The Minister of Tourism wants to make taxi drivers into tourism ambassadors with “basic communication skills”Unfortunately, we are terribly busy with yesterday’s planned post on the recent interview with SPAD about bus transformation – so once again, we will just post the article and try to get our comments updated as soon as possible.

Briton charged RM450 for 10km trip, sparking furore over cheating cabbies (The Star)

Wednesday February 29, 2012
By P. ARUNA
aruna@thestar.com.my

PETALING JAYA: An English tourist was charged RM450 for a taxi ride from KL Sentral to the Suria KLCC shopping centre, a distance of less than 10km.

The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) said the tourist paid the fare before lodging a report against the driver.

SPAD chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar said they were investigating and would take action against the taxi driver and the operator.

He said the taxi driver was believed to have threatened the tourist into paying the fee. Continue reading Briton charged RM450 for 10km trip, sparking furore over cheating cabbies (Update #1)

30% of Malaysian bus drivers suffer from sleep disorders, says survey

TRANSIT members were shocked and disappointed to read the news in The Star today, which shared the results of a survey by the Sleep Disorder Society of Malaysia and the JKJR which showed that a significant number of Malaysian bus drivers suffer from sleep disorders.

30% of M’sian bus drivers suffer from sleep disorders (The Star)
Saturday February 18, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR: Sleeping disorders affect 30 percent of 300 bus drivers in the country, with eight percent categorised as chronic, raising fears about their driving performance.

Sleep Disorder Society Malaysia (SDSM) president Dr Muhammad Muhsin Ahmad Zahari said the statistics were obtained in a joint study with the Road Safety Department (JKJR) recently.

“The survey was carried out on 300 bus drivers from five transport companies nationwide and what shocked us the most was that eight percent are at a severe level,” he told Bernama at the Sleep Disorder Society Malaysia (SDSM) Scientific Meeting – Towards Healthier Sleep in Malaysia event, here on Saturday.

[TRANSIT: We want to know which companies!]
Continue reading 30% of Malaysian bus drivers suffer from sleep disorders, says survey

Why is the MPK using the North Klang bus terminal for a night market, instead of a bus terminal? And why hasn’t the Selangor Government stepped in?

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.

Flea market draws flak (The Star)

Saturday February 18, 2012
Story and photos by ELAN PERUMAL
elan@thestar.com.my

THE Klang Municipal Council’s decision to approve the Nadi Kota Uptown flea market at the site of the former North Klang bus terminal has not gone down well with traders in the area.

The North Klang bus terminal remains closed, but buses and passengers still gather on Jalan Pos. Image courtesy of The Star.

They feel that the council’s decision to approve the market which operates from 10pm to 4am daily is not a good idea.

The traders said this was because the bus terminal issue had not been resolved yet after the move to Klang Sentral in Meru four years ago. Continue reading Why is the MPK using the North Klang bus terminal for a night market, instead of a bus terminal? And why hasn’t the Selangor Government stepped in?

What is RapidBRT, how will it work, and when is it coming to the Klang Valley?

TRANSIT took note of this interesting photo of a sign in one of our LRT trains – advertising improvements to RapidKL bus services.

To the top of the photo, we see an advertisement for RapidBET Route #3, which connects Subang Mewah to Pasar Seni, Kuala Lumpur. And down in the right hand corner, the message “RapidBRT Akan Datang! Coming Soon!”

RapidBRT & RapidBET advertisement. Image courtesy of @TWK90

But what exactly is RapidBRT?

Well, we know that BRT stands for Bus Rapid Transit – a “rapid transit” system of public transport using buses as the vehicle technology. In TRANSIT’s view the term “rapid transit” can encompass any type of public transport operating in a Category “A” or Category “B” right-of-way.
Continue reading What is RapidBRT, how will it work, and when is it coming to the Klang Valley?

Malacca government steps forward on public transport with RM7.7mil compensation and takeover plan. Will they learn from RapidKL? (Update #1)

Update #1: Updated with more letters & articles

TRANSIT took note of the following interesting news – the Malacca state government is stepping forward with plans to compensate 10 existing public transport operators in the state with RM7.7 million, with a plan to for state-owned operator Panorama to take over the operations from the private operators on February 1st of this year.

New Panorama Melaka midi-bus. Image courtesy of Jom Naik Bas!

The takeover proposal appears to forestall the warnings from the Malacca Omnibus Operators Association that they would be forced to stop services on February 1st.

Malacca to give RM7.7mil compensation to ailing omnibus operators (The Star)

26 January 2012

MALACCA: Malacca’s ailing omnibus operators will get RM7.7mil in compensation from the state.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam also announced Thursday that the state-owned agency, PMTC, would fully take over the stage bus operations from Feb 1 while the current dilapidated buses used by ten operators would be replaced in stages.

The memorandum of understanding between the state government and Malacca Omnibus operators was signed at Dewan Seri Negeri.

TRANSIT Says:

So, the state government is paying RM7.7 million to buy old buses from these bus operators, which they will then turn around and use on the existing public transport routes while the buses are replaced over time.

That basically sounds to us like the process by which Intrakota and later RapidKL were created – pay good public money to buy up near worthless private assets, buy new bus chassis at an inflated cost with a ‘too-short’ timeline, leading to:

  • contracts for Malaysian bus assemblers;
  • a need to purchase new buses in a few years;
  • public complaints about the loss of competition.

Hopefully, the Malacca government and SPAD will have learned from the mistakes made by RapidKL & Prasarana in the past. One wise step to take would be to take the purchase of new buses out of the hands of Panorama Melaka Cultural & Tourism (and the state government) and put the purchase in the hands of national infrastructure company, Prasarana.

Why? Because first of all, Prasarana knows what buses to buy, thanks to their 5 extra years experience in purchasing buses. Second, Prasarana is the national infrastructure company, with the right financial backing to get the buses at a great price. Third, it is best to keep the purchase of buses neutral and focused on the improvements, not potential opportunities.

TRANSIT also believes that the Malacca Government needs to develop a concise and effective public transport plan that builds on the major corridors that need to be served – namely the existing Malacca town buses, Malacca – Ayer Keroh route (including the proposed Malacca Tram), and the intercity services connecting Malacca town to Alor Gajah and Tampin (where it can link to KTM train services including possible future ETS.

From the article, there is more info to come. In the meantime, take a look at the articles after the jump, which detail the situation in Malacca and the way that the plan came together.
Continue reading Malacca government steps forward on public transport with RM7.7mil compensation and takeover plan. Will they learn from RapidKL? (Update #1)

‘Solutions’ to public transport problems focusing on the bus industry, not public transport users

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.

The nation-wide collapse of bus services are continuing, despite the recent announcement that the Malaysian Government has approved an RM400mn fund for public transport operators. Applications for this fund began earlier this week and SPAD intends to release the first Rm100mn as soon as possible.

TRANSIT notes that the government is stepping in with the financial aid to bus operators. We also note that Prasarana-RapidKL have talked about improving cooperation (actually, we should say “starting” cooperation) with private bus operators to reduce wasteful competition on different routes. At the same time, taxi drivers and other bus companies are benefiting from the lack of competition in the Klang area since CityLiner shut down bus services, affecting thousands of public transport users.

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.

Read about TRANSIT’s take on the issues and a proposed action plan after the jump! Continue reading ‘Solutions’ to public transport problems focusing on the bus industry, not public transport users

Move forwards, not backwards to solve our public transport crisis (Update #1)

Update: Azmi Sharom wants you to buzz your rep on the bus issue!

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.

The articles (in full) and comments from TRANSIT can be found after the jump…

Continue reading Move forwards, not backwards to solve our public transport crisis (Update #1)