Thursday, November 12, 2009

Public Transport in Petaling Jaya

I was interviewed for my comments on the situation of public transport in Petaling Jaya by Star Metro. They carried a whole chunk of it a few days ago ;-) Below is an excerpt, or you can get the full article here.

...Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua admitted that he was among those shocked at the high number of projects approved for PJ without careful consideration on the traffic impact, adding that the problem was compounded by a public transportation system that could not meet the needs and expectations due to poor planning.

“Developers are not required to submit public transport plans as part of the development approval while the local authorities do not have plans either when approving the projects.

“Although developers submit reports as required but they focus on the immediate vicinity while turning a blind eye to the overall area.

“Worse still, the traffic consultants are paid by the developers, resulting in vested interests,” he said, adding that fragmented land ownership made the matter worse.

He highlighted that having 13 government agencies to handle public transportation issues was a killer.

“Centralisation of public transport decision-making at the federal level makes it practically impossible to make the best decision for each town and city all over the country.

“On the other hand, route networks are largely left to private or semi-private entities who favour profitable routes, and local authorities have no say at all,” he added.

The solution to this, he suggested, was to have a local transportation authority controlling and managing the system with guidelines issued by a federal body.

The authority should also keep the necessary checks and balances with reformed mechanisms, such as a regime of limited competition adopted by the European Union states.
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