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
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.”
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.”
We also note that RapidKL has divided the Klang Valley into 6 ‘areas’ and are providing service in all 6 areas.
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.
The only thing we want to know is this – will a fare increase lead to better service?????