Category Archives: Information

Images of new Tanjung Malim Station

While TRANSIT has expressed their concern about the opening of the Tanjung Malim station (which is stretching out an already overstretched KTM Komuter service) we cannot resist the temptation of a new public transport service.

There is still the element of “railfan” and “busfan” within many in TRANSIT and many of our supporters.

Inside KTM Tanjung Malim - Image courtesy of TWK90

So when TRANSIT noticed a series of bright, detailed and colourful pictures of Tanjung Malim Komuter Station posted by our friend TWK90 at the skyscrapercity.com forum, we had to provide a link for you. 

For photos (like the one above), please visit the posting on Skyscrapercity.com: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpost.php?p=38271672&postcount=1966

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Penang Ferry Takeover

As the Penang Ferry takeover has recently entered the news, TRANSIT has been following the issue closely.  For this reason, we are creating a special post to discuss the Penang Ferry takeover.  We hope to update this post regularly with information and commentary.

Article: Ex PPC Chief to rescue Penang’s iconic tourist attraction

Commentary: Penang gov’t right in revamping ferry service

Article: Solve bus problem first, Tan tells Penang govt

TRANSIT Says:

TRANSIT believes that what happens with the Penang Ferry takeover will be significant for the success of public transport within the state.  For this reason, we are keeping close watch on what is happening with the Penang Ferry takeover. 

From our early observations, the state government is clearly moving towards the creation of a local public transport authority run by the state government.  The state is doing its best to gain indirect control of Government-linked bus services (through leasing agreements with RapidPenang), improvements to the KTM service (through the construction of Penang Sentral) and better ferry services (through the takeover of the Penang Ferry).

Once the government has organized these assets under the existing Public Transport Council, there will be futher opportunities to manage and improve service.

TRANSIT gives guarded applause to the State Government of Penang for moving forward to improve and organiize public transport within the state – in spite of the comments and resistance from the clearly hostile, entrenched civil service agencies working through a culture of centralization.

Info about the TransJakarta system

Our friend Mr. Ong visited Jakarta recently and took some time to look at the TransJakarta bus system.

Mr. Ong has spoken on more than one occasion of the TransJakarta system as an effective example of low-cost improvements to public transport.  Of course the system is not perfect (what system is?) and can see improvements – but the message is that the people in charge of public transportation in Jakarta are taking steps and moving public transport forward.

Sometimes radical steps can lead to great improvements, and TransJakarta is certainly an example of this.  What started out with a single corridor in Jakarta has now expanded to 8 corridors with more under construction.  What started as a single system has now been extended, in various forms, to many other Indonesian cities.

Enjoy the video of Mr. Ong’s ride on the TransJakarta system.

Also, please read his commentary based on his ride of the TransJakarta system, which has been posted to the Penangwatch (dot) net website.

A reference map (slightly older) for TransJakarta is posted below.  You may note that the image outside the map might look familiar – it is a TransJakarta app(lication) specially designed for the iPhone.

A Map of the TransJakarta system taken from a design of an iPhone Application
A Map of the TransJakarta system taken from a design of an iPhone Application

For more information about TransJakarta see here.
For more information about the iPhone Application, see here.

Does RapidKL have the answers the CVLB needs?

This letter by Moaz from TRANSIT was published in the NST on Monday, 8 June 2009. Please note that the letter is edited. A full copy of the letter will be posted soon along with more detailed info and analysis of RapidKL’s original route system.

2009/06/08

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: CVLB should look to RapidKL for the answers
By : MOAZ YUSUF AHMAD for Transit

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz wants to see improvement in the bus service. Image courtesy of NST
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz wants to see improvement in the bus service. Image courtesy of NST

MINISTER in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz recently visited Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown area, taking a look at public transport problems at Jalan Silang, the Klang bus stand and other areas.

The media reported that Nazri was angry with the pollution and obstruction to traffic there. Nazri also noted that he thought that the bus operators were using the pajak (pawning) system — the closest that any politician has come to admitting that this exists. I hope that some action will be taken against bus operators that pajak their buses to others.

Nazri said there were six major bus operators serving Kuala Lumpur and six entry points to the city. He has directed the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB) to give each bus operator its own separate entry point and bus stand. The CVLB has two months to plan the new routes.

The Association for the Improvement of Mass Transit-Klang Valley (Transit) would like to suggest that the planning of new routes can be accomplished a lot sooner by simply asking RapidKL for information.

In 2006, RapidKL divided the Klang Valley into six zones. To serve these six zones, it identified five separate entry points as bus hubs and terminated the stage bus services there. For access into the city, RapidKL offered a city shuttle service and a single all-day ticket, Touch ‘n Go service and monthly passes. Prasarana also bought hundreds of new buses for RapidKL.

The problem was that only RapidKL followed the new system. Other bus operators continued to pajak their buses, block the streets of KL, raise their fares to the maximum allowed and cut costs to the bare minimum, polluting the air with their old, poorly maintained buses.

It is these bus operators who are claiming that the system is unfair because RapidKL gets financial support from the government.

So what is the solution? Ironically, it is in the hands of the CVLB. With the support of the Federal Government and the Kuala Lumpur City Council, the CVLB can act as a de facto local public transport authority, instead of waiting until the new public land transport commission is created.

The CVLB can plan the new routes, package the zones to include a mix of profitable and social routes, and make each zone available under contract via an open tender to the existing bus operators. They can work with Prasarana to buy more buses to supplement the existing fleets.

The bus operators then would have to abandon the pajak system, start paying their employees a competitive salary, buy new buses (or lease them from Prasarana) and maintain their existing fleet. By following this system, the CVLB will be able to bring back accountability to the bus operators and better public transport services in the Klang Valley.

RapidKL had a good route plan for Klang Valley in 2006 but was unable to implement it because the system was unfairly tilted in favour of the other bus operators. If the CVLB takes the RapidKL zones as a starting point and uses the BastrenKL map guide for overview, they may be able to plan a better system for the Klang Valley.

Transit suggests that the CVLB keep RapidKL’s route system and devise a single ticketing system. Let RapidKL run the City Shuttle and LRT. Transfer the Cyberjaya Dedicated Transport Service to the Putrajaya Corporation which has more buses.

Let the additional buses go to the operators selected to provide services for each area. That way, RapidKL can concentrate on LRT and the City Shuttle, the other bus operators can improve their services, and public transport users get a single, effective public transport system.

Nazri and CVLB must realise that it is RapidKL that has all the answers.

Map of KL Public Transport Bus stops courtesy of Vector Designs
Map of KL Public Transport Bus stops courtesy of Vector Designs

TRANSIT Says:

 

We are not here to defend RapidKL. Our goal is to improve public transport and that comes from openness and dialogue and honesty. Sharing this information with the public and the government will, hopefully make it clear to some people (Nazri) that the solution to the existing problems with public transport is clear and staring him in the face.

We look forward to receiving our invitation for the meeting of bus operators with Prasarana, DBKL, Federal Territories Ministry, EPU and the bus operators. But we won’t hold our collective breath yet.

Another change in management @ KTMB

TRANSIT was surprised to hear the news this morning that the Managing Director of KTMB has been replaced.

Change at KTMB
By Sharen Kaur
sharen@nstp.com.my
2009/06/05

Sources say Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd MD received his service termination letter from the Minister of Finance Inc last month.

Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) managing director (MD) Datuk Abd Radzak Abd Malek has been asked to leave the national rail company effective July 31, a year short of his contract.

KTMB Managing Director Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) Datuk Abd Radzak Abd Malek has been asked to leave KTMB, a year short of his contract.  He is widely expected to be replaced by current Express Rail Link (ERL) chief executive (CEO) Dr Aminuddin Adnan.
KTMB Managing Director Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) Datuk Abd Radzak Abd Malek has been asked to leave KTMB. He is expected to be replaced by current Express Rail Link (ERL) chief executive Dr Aminuddin Adnan.

He is widely expected to be replaced by current Express Rail Link (ERL) chief executive (CEO) Dr Aminuddin Adnan.

Sources said Radzak received his service termination letter from the Minister of Finance Inc (MOF) last month.

KTMB officials declined to comment, but said the company was waiting for the government to make an official announcement.

Radzak, who previously served as KTMB Freight Service Division general manager for 11 years, was appointed MD in place of Datuk Mohd Salleh Abdullah on September 2 last year.

MOF had initially appointed former Pos Malaysia Bhd CEO Datuk Idrose Mohamed [TRANSIT: Idrose is now Managing Director of Prasarana] to take over as KTMB MD, but later rescinded the decision.

Business Times understands that Aminuddin received an offer letter from MOF a few days ago.

He has been asked to take up the role of MD and ensure improvement to KTMB’s financial structure.

“Aminuddin has accepted the offer and will undertake a corporate restructuring upon finding out what went wrong in KTMB.

“He will need some time to study KTMB and meet with the existing board of directors and management before moving to the next step,” sources said.

Aminuddin, who was previously with UEM Group, was not available for comment.

He has been serving ERL, owner and operator of the high-speed KLIA Ekspres and KLIA Transit train services between Kuala Lumpur Sentral and KL International Airport (KLIA), since the project started in 1996.

A source said that former KTMB chairman Tan Sri Lim Ah Lek may also return to the company following Aminuddin’s appointment.

Lim left KTMB in September last year as he was not in favour of Radzak’s appointment as the MD.

Sources within KTMB said there was no proper structure in the company and they feared that it would lose money again this year.

KTMB – which is involved in freight, intercity and commuter train services, and property and advertisement – has been bleeding red ink since it was corporatised in 1992 due to high operating costs, although it did make net profits of between RM9 million and RM15 million from 1993 to 1995.

In 2007, it posted a net loss of RM116.1 million on revenue of RM349.2 million. It is believed that for 2008, KTMB will post a loss of RM150 million on lower revenue.

KTMB is still suffering from high operating costs of RM200 million a year despite efforts to lower expenditure by reducing manpower and stopping non-profitable operations.

TRANSIT Says:

If KTMB is facing problems because of high costs, we really have to evaluate where the problems are.  But we have to do this with understanding.

Railway service is broken down into 3 categories – freight, intercity and sometimes commuter service.  KTMB’s freight division is profitable (as most freight divisions are).  The Komuter service is near profitability (as many Commuter services are).  KTM Intercity service is not profitable (as most intercity service usually are not).

But each of these passenger rail services has a very important role.  KTM Komuter carries 100,000 passengers per day and really could carry more if the service were expanded the way it ought to be expanded.

KTM Intercity service links small towns and communities and makes them accessible to those that choose not to drive.

Even if the costs are high, the services still need to be maintained.  And increasing fares would make the service less affordable for many users.

These factors must be understood in all of these cost cutting measures that are presumably to be taken by the new Managing Director.

We should also consider the following truths:

  • That KTMB HQ is located in a very old building.
  • That KTMB have moved their railway workshops from Sentul to Batu Gajah to save costs, and sold that valuable land.
  • That KTM intercity and Komuter services are at the bare minimum level.
  • That  KTMB is a limited company and publishes an annual report.

So where are the problems? And where are the solutions?

TRANSIT can only say, do not cut costs at the expense of service.  What we need is a real investment in the KTM service as soon as possible.  Maybe it is time for the government to take KTMB back under its wing. Or maybe not.

Nazri: ITT for South-bound buses only

In a surpising about-turn, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Abdul Aziz has stated that the Integrated Transport Terminal at Bandar Tasik Selatan will be used for southbound buses only.

This contrasts with his earlier statements made a little more than 2 weeks ago, in which he stated that Bandar Tasik Selatan would be the one major bus hub for all express buses.

Apparently Nazri had made this decision on the word of the bus operators, without making his own site visit, and the site visit that he took changed his mind.

ITT-BTS for south-bound buses only, says Nazri

5 June 2009

Initially, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz had said that the new hub might be used for nationwide routes.

However, during a visit to the site yesterday, he agreed to maintain the hub only for the southern route due to space constraint.

“The visit has allowed us to see for ourselves if the idea is feasible. Now I feel that what I had suggested is not practical,” Nazri said.

TRANSIT Says:

TRANSIT doesn’t know what to say – Nazri has done another first. A few days ago he mentioned that he thought that some operators would ‘pajak’ their buses. This time he has stated that his idea for Bandar Tasik Selatan as single terminal was not practical.

This is unprecedented. So, while we wait to study the statements and check for information, we can say only one thing:

Never forget the value of going down to the ground to see things for yourself.

Nazri in action

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Abdul Aziz visited the Bangkok Bank, Jalan Silang, and Klang bus stands yesterday morning. He also hosted a dialogue with taxi operators

video: http://thestaronline.tv/v/3520
Articles:

Improving service: Nazri (right) talking to Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB) chairman Datuk Markiman Kobiran while checking up on bus stops around Jalan Silang in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. — Bernama
Improving service: Nazri (right) talking to Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB) chairman Datuk Markiman Kobiran while checking up on bus stops around Jalan Silang in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. — Bernama

During the Walkabout

The walkabout was to check on the public transport system here. He visited one of the most polluted parts of Kuala Lumpur, covering Jalan Silang, Jalan Tan Cheng Lock, Jalan Tun H.S. Lee, Lebuh Ampang, Klang bus station and Central Market.

  • Nazri was unhappy that the majority of the buses were emitting black smoke. Coupled with that, bus drivers were parking their vehicles along the roads, causing jams.
  • Nazri approached some drivers and asked them to depart immediately.

He told journalists: “These buses are causing jams. They are not supposed to wait at the side of the road. They are supposed to pick up their customers and leave.”

TRANSIT Says:

You may recall that TRANSIT was the one who invited Prime Minister Najib to go and visit Jalan Silang, Bangkok Bank and the Klang Bus Stand area after his walkabout in Masjid India.

We appreciate that Nazri went ahead and visited – but why not invite for TRANSIT? While Nazri was on walkabout, Moaz from TRANSIT was sitting at a hotel waiting for the dialogue with the taxi operators (that he had been invited for) to begin.

On Bus Services

  • Nazri said there were six bus companies operating in the capital.

“There are six entry routes to the centre of Kuala Lumpur. Each company will be asked to operate at one entry. They will be asked to pick up passengers at different bus stops.”He gave Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board representatives, who were also present, two months to come up with a detailed plan of the routes.

  • He would also discuss the idea and the details with Federal Territories Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin.
  • Nazri will also meet the managements of bus companies which include RapidKL, Len Seng, Metro Bus, Selangor Omnibus and SJ Bus next week.

During the meeting, he said, he would bring up the issue of bus operators illegally leasing their permits to others.

  • “I suspect some of them pajak their licence. [well, duh@!] That is one of the reasons why the drivers wait at the bus stops to take in as many people as possible,” he said.

He said he would ask the police and City Hall enforcement officers to ensure that buses do not hog the roads.

“There has to be enforcement. Without it, the buses will continue to hog the roads.”

TRANSIT Says:

We also note that RapidKL has divided the Klang Valley into 6 ‘areas’ and are providing service in all 6 areas. 

The RapidKL integrated network is a mix of rail services (LRT and Monorail) as well as 4 levels of bus services (City Shuttle, Trunk Bus, Local Shuttle and Express)
The RapidKL integrated network is a mix of rail services (LRT and Monorail) as well as 4 levels of bus services (City Shuttle, Trunk Bus, Local Shuttle and Express)

How about we divide all bus services in the Klang Valley into 6-7 areas, with a mix of social routes and mainline routes.  Then each area will be parceled out by open tender to the bus companies, who would be invited to bid for the contract to provide bus services.

The bus companies could bid directly for control of the area, or give a secondary bid (e.g. to supply buses on contract to the main operator).

This way, the better-managed bus companies would be able to successfully run 1-2 areas while the other companies could still provide to the market.

Of course, in order to run this kind of service, there has to be a common fare system and route system.

Will it work?

On Increased Fares

  • A memorandum on the fare increase had been circulated to all ministries for their feedback.
  • The increase would encompass fares for taxis and stage, express and schoolbuses, he said.
  • The starting fare for taxis would increase from RM2 to RM3 for the first kilometre and from 10 sen to 13 sen for every subsequent 150m.
  • When a taxi was stationary, such as during a traffic jam, the proposed rate was 13 sen for every 27 seconds, more than a 100% increase from the 10 sen for every 45 seconds.
  • Proposed fare increase for buses would be around 30%. This is on top of the existing fare increase that has been in place since October 2008.

TRANSIT Says:

The only thing we want to know is this – will a fare increase lead to better service?????

RapidKL to shift E1 to use Maju Expressway – 1 man’s persistence has paid off

TRANSIT took note of the following update from RapidKL via the NST.

RapidKL changes E1 bus route

2009/05/28

PETALING JAYA: There will be some changes on the E1 bus route of RapidKL (Putrajaya Sentral — Pasar Seni via North-South Highway) starting June 8.

Rangkaian Pengangkutan Integrasi Deras Sdn Bhd communication general manager, Ebi Azly Abdullah, said that the changes to the route were to reduce the travelling time and to give efficient service to E1 commuters.

“The new E1 route is via the Maju Expressway (MEX) and it will reduce the travelling time to 40 minutes compared to the current travelling time which takes 60 minutes,” he said.

The new route will be as follows:

– Route (to):

Sultan Mohamed Terminal (Pasar Seni) – Jalan Cheng Lock – Jalan Tun Sambanthan (KL Sentral) – Jalan Syed Putra (Mid Valley) – Lebuhraya Timur Barat – Maju Expressway (MEX) – Precinct 9 – Putrajaya Sentral.

– Route (return):

Putrajaya Sentral – Precinct 9 – Maju Expressway (MEX) – Lebuhraya Timur Barat – Jalan Syed Putra (Mid Valley) – Jalan Tun Sambanthan (KL Sentral) – Jalan Cheng Lock – Sultan Mohamed Terminal (Pasar Seni).

The E1 route will operate with a frequency of 20 minutes every day. For details, visit www.rapidkl.com.my or call 03-7625 6999 or e-mail suggest@rapidkl.com.my.

TRANSIT Says:

The change to the route of the E1 express bus is a clear sign that persistence can pay off.

TRANSIT received an email on May 11 from a gentleman who suggested that the E1 route be changed to use the Maju expressway.

My suggestion is very simple, not to use congested road but use smoother road. It seems like they do not want to listen. I attach picture taken to show that how worse the situation is every morning if they use Seremban-KL Highway and time taken to reach office every morning is almost 2 hours. But if they use MEX (Maju Expressway) the time taken is less than 1 hour to reach office.

We just do not understand why RapidKL still insist on using congested road and wasting a lot of sources (money and time).

I hope something can be done on this. We are not rich people and we can’t afford expensive transportation like ERL or driving to reach office everyday.

Please see below email for reference.

Thank you.

The gentleman also appended a half-dozen emails that he had sent to RapidKL asking for updates to his suggestion.

Well, it looks like his efforts have paid off.

TRANSIT did follow up with a letter to RapidKL (appended below)

And we appreciate the efforts of a dedicated and persistent public transport user.

TRANSIT thanks you for your suggestion and your persistence in following up with RapidKL and others involved.

Frankly, we need more people like you who are aware of public transport and persistent in getting the questions asked.

TRANSIT agrees with the concept of making space on expressways (especially the less-congested toll expressways) and roadways for public transport.

We see these roads and expressways as transport corridors and believe that there is a place for public transport in these corridors…but because service is more effective without delays and congestion, we prefer busways over bus lanes.

That is why TRANSIT is working to promote the concept of Bus Rapid Transit and Expressway Rapid Transit in Malaysia especially on the toll expressways. See the attached images of Expressway Rapid Transit, the new MetroBus service from Istanbul, Turkey.

If only our Malaysian Metrobus service could be as appealing.

TRANSIT has also proposed that a new type of Smart TAG (Bus TAG) be offered to buses to reduce waiting time at toll plazas

Once again, thank you for your suggestions and we hope to keep in touch.

Kind Regards,

Moaz Yusuf Ahmad

on behalf of TRANSIT

Commentary: Do we praise RapidKL or do we bury them?

TRANSIT logo
TRANSIT sent the following letter to the Malaysian media yesterday afternoon regarding the recent announcement from Minister in the Prime Minister’s Dept. Nazri Abdul Aziz about a “review” of the role of RapidKL.

The letter touches on the reality within the public transport industry and urges the ministers to wake up to the reality of the situation.

TRANSIT invites you to give us your feedback on the letter and respond to this question:

Do we praise RapidKL, or do we bury them?

Dear Editor

Last week, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Abdul Aziz raised the ire of many public transport users when he commented that the Prime Minister’s Department would review the status of RapidKL and RapidPenang, two “government-linked operatorss” that, according to some, have an unfair advantage in the public transport industry.  At the same time, the bus operators repeated their demand for a 100% increase in fares – possibly forgetting that they already had received a 30% increase since the Balik Kampung period of October 2008.

Among members of TRANSIT, the announcement set off a firestorm of protests and condemnation.  Many members of TRANSIT have benefited from the presence of RapidKL in the market (especially when compared to the other bus companies) but we were also wary of RapidKL’s existing weaknesses.  We were faced with a serious dilemma. To borrow from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, we asked ourselves if we should praise RapidKL or bury them.

Many members argued that it was the CVLB that needed to be reviewed, not RapidKL.  TRANSIT spokesperson Muhammad Zulkarnain Hamzah went ahead and put his thoughts into a finely-written letter that reflected on the poor state of the entire industry, and urged the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department to reconsider his statement to “review the role of RapidKL”. Others thought that the attention should be focused on the poor quality of service throughout the industry.

This letter aims to set the record straight about the state of the public transport industry.

Firstly, it must be made clear that Rangkaian Pengangkutan Integrasi Deras (Rapid Integrated Transport Network) aka Rapid and sister company RapidPenang are both Sendirian Berhad-private limited companies.  This means that they are private companies just like any of the dozens of other bus companies operating in Malaysia. They answer privately to their owners and not publicly to their shareholders.

The difference is that both of the “Rapid” companies are 100% owned by the Ministry of Finance. The Ministry of Finance is a government Ministry and therefore, RapidKL Sdn. Bhd. and RapidPenang Sdn. Bhd. are “government-linked.”

There are benefits to this arrangement.  Many of the capital costs (such as the purchase of new buses) are actually paid for by big-sister company Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad (National Infrastructure Company Limited) aka Prasarana, which allows RapidKL and RapidPenang to focus on operations.  In contrast, the other private bus operators have to rely on loans from banks to cover their capital costs.

Regarding operations, it has also been said that RapidKL and RapidPenang get a 50% operations subsidy from the Ministry of Finance.  Again in contrast, the other private bus operators have to rely on the farebox revenues to cover their operations costs.

On the surface, the system does appear unfair – but this is because RapidKL and RapidPenang and Prasarana are not traditional public transport operators – they represent an experiment in the future of public transport in Malaysia. What RapidKL and RapidPenang need to do is set the record straight about the rules of this experiment – but they always seem to maintain an “elegant silence” about the role that they play.

Secondly, it needs to be made clear is that RapidKL and RapidPenang have to face costs that their competition does not face.  RapidKL and RapidPenang pay their operators with salary (RM1500-RM2000) and benefits – instead of using the plainly illegal ‘pajak’ system where a bus is leased out on a daily basis for a fee. RapidKL and RapidPenang have to operate money-losing ‘social’ routes while the other operators can focus on profitable routes.  RapidKL and RapidPenang are expected to operate on fixed frequencies instead of moving when the bus is full. They have to maintain a website and electronic ticketing system and control centre whereas most of their competitors do not.

When all of these factors are taken into consideration, is it appropriate to say that RapidKL and RapidPenang have an unfair advantage?

It should be clear by now that the problem is not with RapidKL and RapidPenang – but with the industry as a whole.  The CVLB and the other operators are in need of review as well.

When Minister in the Prime Minister’s Depatment Nazri Abdul Aziz takes all of these factors into consideration (as he definitely should), he will realize that RapidKL and RapidPenang are the most successful examples of public transport service in Malaysia – from both the revenue and the customer satisfaction standpoint.

Once he understands this, the next step is to find out how to fit all of the other operators into the system.  In order to accomplish all of these changes, TRANSIT recommends to Nazri that the government should:

  • Create a Local Public Transport Authority that will take control of the bus routes in the Klang Valley and package them into “areas” (they can borrow RapidKL’s 6 “Areas” for this)
  • Ensure that each packaged “Area” includes both stage bus and local shuttle bus routes to allow the profitable routes to cover the costs of the less profitable routes.
  • Work with the local councils to build the other infrastructure needed for a successful public transport system including bus lanes, busways, bus hubs, and staging areas.
  • Allow the Local Public Transport Authority to give out these bus routes using open tender to stimulate competition.
  • Reduce the waste of resources and increase accountability by allowing bus operators to operate exclusively on a route for a fixed period of time (under the contract) – this will spread public transport out to reach more areas and more people.
  • Pay the operators an appropriate fee for their services during this contract period.
  • If satisfaction is low, work to improve it.  If that fails, the Authority can re-tender the contract.

The benefit of these suggestions is that it would extend the umbrella of protection to all of the bus operators by reducing their capital costs, stopping the illegal ‘pajak’ system and encouraging companies to start paying fair wages to their employees, and allowing fares to rise to a reasonable level but increasing the quality of service at the same time.

Sincerely

Moaz Yusuf Ahmad

Advisor, The Association for the Improvement of Mass-Transit (TRANSIT)

TRANSIT

w. http://transitmy.org
e. klangvalley.transit@gmail.com
tw. http://twitter.com/transitmy