Tag Archives: 4-Stakeholders Model

Brickfields bus & taxi lane shut down after two months because of Government flip-flopping or just bad planning? (Update #2)

Updated with additional articles!

TRANSIT took note of this interesting and disappointing news about the Brickfields – Jalan Tun Sambanthan bus lane, shut down by the government beginning February 6th, after only 2 months in operation.

The big question from TRANSIT is WHY? What are the reasons why the government chose to back down on the plan for the bus lane, and is this a reflection of a government that listens to public protests, or just poor planning, bad policy, or a weak government?

And more importantly, this really raises questions about strength of the government’s commitment to improving public transport – especially in light of the fact that bus lanes in KL are simply not working right now.

So what are we going to do?

Update:

Brickfields bus lane abandoned after two months (The Star)
Thursday February 2, 2012
By PRIYA MENON
priya@thestar.com.my

THE indecisive nature of the authorities about the traffic situation in Brickfields have once again caused unhappiness among residents there.

Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin announced on Tuesday that the contra-flow bus and taxi lane would now be aborted and buses would once again ply Jalan Sultan Abdul Samad.
Continue reading Brickfields bus & taxi lane shut down after two months because of Government flip-flopping or just bad planning? (Update #2)

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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?

We’re already Malaysia’s public transport forum

TRANSIT took note of a very interesting article about the plan of the Land Public Transport Commission (Suruhanjaya Pengangkutan Awam Darat or SPAD) to create a Land Public Transport Forum.

The forum will discuss public transport issues

Forum to help public air views on SPAD (NST)
13 January 2012

By Nuradzimmah Daim
KUALA LUMPUR: A Land Public Transport Forum will be set up in March.

Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) chief executive officer Mohd Nur Kamal said the forum would serve as a platform for the public to channel their views to the commission.

“Before it is set up, it is important to decide what form this forum will take, whether as an advisory panel, a society or a company.

[TRANSIT: And that is what we at TRANSIT have been talking about, for more than 3 years now.]

Continue reading We’re already Malaysia’s public transport forum

‘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

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 (CityLiner) bus for you Kedah & Pahang!

TRANSIT took note of this disturbing news, the shut down of bus services by CityLiner in Kedah and Pahang.

The company operating bus services under the CityLiner brand (a brand owned by Konsortium Transnasional Berhad) in various states throughout Peninsular Malaysia

Earlier last month, CityLiner services in Negri Sembilan were shut down for a 1 week period because of similar ‘continuous losses.’ The services resumed on 21 November after SPAD and the Negri Sembilan state government intervened. There was also a threat to shut down services in Sebarang Prai on 21 November but this shutdown was put on temporary hold until the end of November.

TRANSIT is looking for more information on what is happening up in Penang – as well as Kedah & Pahang – but the fact is that there isn’t much that can be done. If SPAD is not able to step in fast enough to prevent services from being shut down (even temporarily) then we are going to continue to face serious problems within the public transport industry in the foreseeable future.

Cityliner halts services in Kedah and Pahang due to ‘continuous losses’ (The Star)
Friday December 2, 2011
By ISABELLE LAI and ROSLINA MOHAMAD

KUALA LUMPUR: Stage bus services in major parts of Kedah and Pahang will temporarily cease from today because their operations are no longer sustainable due to continuous losses, Konsortium Transnasional Bhd (KTB) announced.

Its executive director and chief executive officer Tengku Hasmadi Tengku Hashim said these were routes plied by KTB’s stage bus operator Cityliner, which has suffered RM30mil in losses so far this year. Continue reading No (CityLiner) bus for you Kedah & Pahang!

No bus for you, Sebarang Prai (as of 21 November). Watch out, Kedah & Perak. You might be next! (Update #2)

  • Update: TRANSIT has learned that the Penang Government will provide subsidy to CityLiner!
  • Update: TRANSIT has learned that CityLiner bus services will operate until the end of November, and that CityLiner is in talks with the Penang Government to resolve the issues facing their operations in the state!

TRANSIT has learned that Konsortium Transnasional Berhad will stop CityLiner stage bus services in Sebarang Prai on 21 November 2011 – this coming Monday.

We urge public transport users in Sebarang Prai who rely on CityLiner bus routes to make alternative transport plans immediately – so that they are prepared if and when the shut down takes place.

And since SPAD has already been caught flat-footed by the shutdown of CityLiner bus services in Negri Sembilan, as well as the threatened shutdowns in Kedah, problems in Perak, Melaka and Kelantan, and other issues … well, we do not see any solutions coming anytime soon.

The public transport industry has been in pain for  a long time. Sadly, while the government has changed from two ineffective “doctors” (CVLB & Department of Railways) to one unproven “doctor” (SPAD), they have done very little to alleviate the pain.

Sure, this new “doctor” has lots of wonderful plans for the public transport industry, but like many of the young among us, this “doctor” is more interested in the urban lifestyle (KL & the Klang Valley), and in the flashy & fancy solutions (LRT, MRT) rather than the reliable and effective medicine (realistic solutions).

To borrow another analogy, SPAD is pumping the public transport industry full of steroids to make it look big & strong, instead of cutting the fat & improving fitness, to make the industry lean, mean, and healthy.

Ok, enough with the analogies. The article is after the jump:
Continue reading No bus for you, Sebarang Prai (as of 21 November). Watch out, Kedah & Perak. You might be next! (Update #2)

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)

On 31 October we said goodbye to the Klang Bus Stand. When can we say hello to improved public transport services there?

TRANSIT took note of this article about the closing of the Klang Bus Stand (Pasarama Kota) which last saw service on 31 October 2011.

While TRANSIT is happy to hear about infrastructure improvements, and we acknowledge that the Klang Bus Stand needed improvement, we also want to see improvements to public transport service for the long term.

Yes, move the Klang and Banting-bound buses to Pudu Sentral. Yes, leave them there and use the Pasar Seni / Jalan Sultan Mohammed bus stand for RapidKL and other stage buses.

But please, would you take the minor steps needed to make those stage bus services faster and more reliable?

End of the line for Klang Bus Stand (The Malaysian Insider)
By Yow Hong Chieh
October 31, 2011

Syed Hamid speaks to the press after distributing flyers on Klang Bus Stand's permanent closure, in Kuala Lumpur October 31, 2011. — Picture by Yow Hong Chieh, The Malaysian Insider.

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 31 — Demolition of the Klang Bus Stand will begin by year’s end to make way for the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) interchange with the LRT, the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) said today. Continue reading On 31 October we said goodbye to the Klang Bus Stand. When can we say hello to improved public transport services there?