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Upgrades for public transport

The Star, September 10, 2012

 KUALA LUMPUR: The Government Transformation Programme (GTP) Roadmap 2.0 is set to bring more changes via the Improving Urban Public Transport (UPT) National Key Results Area (NKRA) for Klang Valley commuters.

Three key initiatives will be put in place to further improve bus services in Greater Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley.

One of the initiatives is the enhancement of the Greater Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley Stage Bus Network.

Many bus operators in the Central Business District (CBD) are operating overlapping routes which not only cause congestion but also creates competition.

As a solution, an upgraded bus network is in the works.

This network will be based on a rationalisation of the number of operators per route and the requirement that all stage buses will stop at dedicated Inter Urban Transport Terminals (IUTTs).

A dedicated city bus service, GO-KL, has been introduced on 31 August this year to operate within CBD to improve the last mile journey for commuters.

The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) will be a continued effort from the first phase of GTP with the introduction of three additional BRT corridors which are KL –Taman Melawati, KL- Ampang and KL – Puchong under the GTP Roadmap 2.0.

There will also be improvements to the bus stops with a labelling and indexing exercise to be carried out to create a minimum standard of bus stops.

This will be done through the building of new or upgrading of existing bus stops.

The next area of concentration is the rail services based on its high traffic.

There are also three major initiatives under the GTP Roadmap 2.0 for the Klang Valley.

The KTM Komuter service will be further enhanced after the NKRA lab zeroed in on several areas for improvements such as track rehabilitation, power upgrade of KTMB’s networks, and upgrade of the communication and electrification systems.

The extension of the Kelana Jaya and Ampang Light Railway Transit (LRT) Lines will benefit more commuters with new locations being linked.

The extension projects are expected to be completed in 2014.

The upgrade will see the morning peak daily capacities of both lines increased by 100,000 commuters.

There will be an expansion to the KL Monorail fleet with the addition of 12 sets of new four-car trains.

The new trains will double its passenger capacity while also reduce the bottleneck at several stations such as Hang Tuah and KL Sentral.

By the end of November this year, two sets of the new trains will be in service.

Another area identified for improvement is the taxi service with the UPT NKRA lab identifying a primary gap in the current business environment and the lack of enforcement and monitoring of the industry.

Based on these findings, two key initiatives have been proposed to bring about change:

Centralised Taxi Service System – this initiative will enhance enforcement and monitoring capabilities of industry regulators and taxi operators. Inspired by international best practices, the end-to-end process will cover from guidelines to the penalty system to an effective public communications plan.

New Taxi Business Model – the new model is to ensure taxi drivers take home higher earnings by reducing operating costs which is considered a key problem to their livelihood.

Dialogues with taxi drivers during the lab session found that financing the vehicle and maintaining the vehicle were considered the two highest cost factors for the drivers.