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A “Sunrise” for public transport in Mont Kiara?

TRANSIT has learned that property develop Sunrise Bhd. has started offering a free community shuttle bus service for residents of Sunrise Properties in Mont Kiara. You can see information at the links below:

Federal Territories Minister Raja Nong Chik cuts a ribbon to launch the shuttle bus service - image courtesy of The Star
Federal Territories Minister Raja Nong Chik cuts a ribbon to launch the shuttle bus service - image courtesy of The Star

The shuttle bus was launched by Federal Territories Minister Raja Nong Chik who commented how happy he was to see a private company taking on corporate social responsibility – so DBKL could devote their resources to other areas.

As usual, having the money and having the will makes quite a difference.  Mont Kiara is recognized as a “wealthy” area and the company has joined other companies like 1Utama, Sunway, Tropicana City Mall, IKANO and MidValley to provide a single shuttle bus as an act of “corporate social responsibility”

But TRANSIT is wary of corporate-driven public transport services because unlike a government-driven service, corporate shuttles can be terminated quickly and quietly without much question.

Also, corporate shuttles are often low quality (MidValley) or infrequent.

What is worse is that these shuttles do not really help everyone in the community … unless they are interested in stopping by their local mall (IKANO, MidValley, 1Utama, Tropicana City Mall) or happen to live in certain exclusive properties (like the Sunrise Shuttle Bus)

TRANSIT does not believe that public transport should ever be “exclusive”. For this reason, we would prefer to see more inclusive, integrated networks of local shuttle buses and taxis/kereta sewa to bring people around our local communities.

Sadly there seems to be little response from the various local authorities to this idea.  The Petaling Jaya City Council’s Community Bus Service has been maintained but the level of service is still very much unknown – and it is still tough to find information about the service – so there are few users.

Perhaps the Federal Territories Ministry and the DBKL can devote some of these saved resources to sponsor shuttle bus services to communities that really need it. And we particularly like the shuttle bus below, which is electrically powered, has room for 20 people, and is fully accessible.

An electric RTC Ecolobus from Quebec City, Province Quebec, Canada
An electric RTC Ecolobus from Quebec City, Province Quebec, Canada

In the meantime, we hope that Mont Kiara residents will embrace their corporate shuttle and their new mobility – and also embrace better-organized local public transport.

4 replies on “A “Sunrise” for public transport in Mont Kiara?”

On the positive side, this shows that corporations see the value of bus travel for a better quality of life, especially free bus travel. Now let’s make all the public transport free and see how the quality of life improves for all. No more oil wars, no more climate disruption, no more sprawl.

Can corporations instead request and ‘adopt’ bus lines in their development? This allows private financing for these routes while retaining the inclusivity of the service. They would get free and exclusive advertising on the buses, of course.

Since most of the development in Malaysia is driven by private companies, the Local Council should stipulate plans for public transport (including hubs) as part of the local plan.

Alternatively, councils can collect fees from developers to pay for public transport infrastructure (as they do for other infrastructure).

The main challenges is awareness – getting the councils & the developers to be aware of the need for effective planning of the neighbourhoods to support public transport.


Moaz for TRANSIT

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