Thursday, February 24, 2011

SPAD Need To Take The Bus

The debate over the proposed MRT system in the Klang Valley between various non-governmental organisations (NGO) with the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) appears to indicate that the latter is banking heavily on the MRT to resolve the public transport woes of Klang Valley residents. The MRT system is kicking off with the proposed 51km Sg Buloh-Kajang line with 35 stations. It also appears that SPAD is neglecting and writing off the bus services not only as an important, but also a critical means of an effective public transport to not only complement but also to enhance the utilisation of the MRT.

As pointed out by the NGO Transit’s statement yesterday, the average daily ridership of MRT in Singapore is 1.95 million, which is only about 63.2% that of buses at 3.09 million. This is despite the fact that Singapore has a much more extensive MRT network of 130km with 79 stations. It also leads to the conclusion that Singapore has a world-class public transport system precisely because of the prominence and role which buses play, as both an alternative and a complement to the MRT system in the city state.

The situation is no different in Hong Kong which has 212km of MTR and rail services with 150 stations ferrying an average of 3.76 million passengers a day. Despite the highly efficient MTR system, the island state has an extensive bus services network dominated by 3 bus companies serving the equivalent number of passengers or more daily. The largest bus company, Kowloon Motor Bus Company alone for example, serves an average of 2.7 million passengers daily.

Hence it is beyond doubt that in a holistic land public transportation plan, bus services form 1 of the 2 critical pillars in any successful public transport model and its contribution cannot be under-estimated.

As at this point of time, RapidKL which provides the main operator of bus services in the Klang Valley has only approximately 800 buses to service a 6 million population in an area the size of 2,800km2. This is a far cry from Singapore which has more than 3,300 buses servicing a 5 million population in a country the size of 482km2 or Hong Kong which has more than 5,500 buses servicing a 7 million population within an area of 1,095km2.

What is more, a plan for the intensification of bus services should precede the implementation of the MRT mega-project for 2 reasons. Firstly, it will be faster to increase the number of buses within a short period of time, to immediately provide relief both traffic congestion and reducing the cost of living for the city dwellers.

Secondly, it’ll also be a much cheaper exercise compared to the MRT project. Assuming each bus costs RM600,000, “flooding” the Klang Valley with an additional 3,000 buses will only cost RM1.8 billion, a tiny fraction of the RM46 billion bill for the MRT.

Therefore, SPAD must immediately provide its Klang Valley bus services blueprint as an adjunct to the MRT blueprint to “complete” the public transport equation for feedback and evaluation by the Klang Valley community. Otherwise the risk is, Malaysians are being presented with a massive RM46 billion proposal which may fail to achieve its lofty goals of transforming our public transport landscape.


TAR College said...

Definitely a more viable and cheaper transport, and is a compulsory pillar for public transport.

I can't imagine what my gf would do (salesperson in a KL mall) if there weren't enough buses to take.
She has to ride 1 hour from Wangsa Maju to Pavillion at 7am on Tuesday zzz!

If the govn't can next introduce a holistic plan, involving NEW NETWORKS for NEW BUSES alongside with the NEW MRT. Malaysians like I do who takes regular public transport will feel less skeptical and be more optimistic with their plans.

I kesian my gf la Tony. can u pls tell wee choo keong to be more concerned with our student area? Esp jalan genting klang? Don't know who to look for to complain!

-concerned TARC

Collin Ng said...


I wonder if more buses are added either to complement the MRT system or as a stop-gap measure, won't that inevitably add-up to the traffic congestion? To nip the bud, perhaps curtail car population or consider ERP like what is done in Singapore. As it is, it poses the biggest challenge to any govt to resolve the traffic conditions in the Klang Valley area and this won't happen overnight either.

charleskiwi said...

Can't expect the Umno morons who are so used to the wheelchairs to take any other means of transport other than the wheelchairs. So don't waste your time trying to get these corrupted Umno morons to show good examples to the people.
Instead get yourself prepared for the coming GE, we are ready to vote these sons of bitches out of their gravy trains.

Anonymous said...

The government can't simply implement ERP system without first providing an efficient/timely public transport with affordable price.

Thus, the first thing that the government need to do is to provide the consistence and efficient bus services (with the implementation of bus lane) to make sure that the public bus service won't be disrupted due to traffic jam. With this, more ppl will willing to opt for taking public transport rather than driving, and caught in a jam.

With this, the no of car will be reduced by itself.

Unknown said...

YB, to increase the number of buses the government will have to take into consideration the current road infrastructure and the disciple of the motorist.

Most road does not have any bus lane and even if there is bus lane motorist uses it nonchalantly ..

if more buses are put on the road, without the supporting infrastructure in place and the supporting agencies to enforce the law - i believe we will have massive massive jam.

but do those guys care? when they are chauffeur driven and does not need to rush to work in the wee hours nor rush home for dinner with the family?

it is a no ending road nightmare for common folks..when we have elected representative with peanuts as brains sitting in powerful portfolio beyond their intellectual reach.

Hopeful Malaysian said...


You have to highlight how much can the elitist cronies cream from the EM46 billion and siphon the money out of this country, and then go party with Paris Hilton, buy premium houses (sic houses and not apartments) in London, and even buy some townships in Canada etc.

How much can they privately benefit from RM1.8 billion?

RM1 billion used to be big for cronies 20 years ago but not anymore. Greed has grown over time.

That should explain the reason for the MRT. It is not about public convenience or benefits.

If you are not convinced, look at those new property developments to be built along the MRT line. Who is to benefit? Who own those lands now? Sigh.. May the force of change extend!

Anonymous said...

What you should really go after is the price of the tickets they are going to charge. You look at LRT which is just covering operating expenses given their prices. Using the LRT numbers as a baseline without accounting for price, they project the MRT number. The numbers are optimistic but could be achieved if they imposed a big fee for cars going into the city which itself is not so simple to do. But you add on the fact the price of travel for the MRT has to be higher otherwise the project is a write-off from the start, and what you get is basically a system that is design to deteriorate very quickly after its made and hence a public transport nightmare in the making.

In short, the MRT is an example of Najib's actual economic plan - Megaspending in Desperation in lieu of failure to reform. He has so many of these, one of them is going to be a nightmare, if not the MRT, there will be something AND we have to pay for it..

Wong Abdullah said...

i don't believe you any more..